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themselves. With anxious heart he began to front the great root questions of all thought, What am I? Whence came I? Whither am I bound? What is life? What is death? Whence is evil? Why this suffering ? What is my destiny ?. He wrestled with these questions as in death grips, but at last came off victorious. He emerged from the clouds and darkness, into light and truth. In his twenty-fourth year, he embraced Christ as his Redeemer. And ever after, in the words of Bunyan, he “dwelt far from the damp shadows of Doubting Castle, amidst the sunshine of the everlasting hills, in which stout Mr. Greatheart, and brave Mr. Hopeful, lived and fought.
The natural force and energy of his mind were now turned into another channel. At once, and for ever, he renounced his companions. He entered the vineyard, not to be idle, not to grumble at others because they did not work in the right way, but to work himself with both hands in his Master's service. He was soon chosen as prayer-leader, and then a class was committed to his care, and both offices he filled with fidelity. He never did things by halves. Whatever he undertook to do, he did it thoroughly. Right or wrong, in the cause of God or the devil, he was always in earnest. He was the very type of a stern, resolute, determined man. He was not one of that class who are always crying, “there is a lion in the way." He did not make mountains out of mole hills; but like a very Hercules girded up his strength and prepared to do the work that lay before him.
Soon after his conversion, he got married as most sensible men do, and in his wife found a true Help-meet. For several years he continued labouring at Murton ; but in the year 1828, he left the village, and went to live at Holm Farm, Appleby: He soon became one of the leading men in the church there-filling the offices of leader and circuit-steward with great credit to himself and satisfaction to others. These offices he filled in the memorable Methodistical year of 1835. Joseph was not the man to be silent in a crisis like that. Deep down in his very heart lay an indestructible love of liberty. Freedom to him was dearer than reputation or life itself. Hence, he at once took a bold stand against the odious despotism of the Conference. He had no love of soft honied terms. He called a spade, a spade and nothing more. Like a straightforward, honest man, he spake out the truth that was in him. But he did more than talk, he, with his wife, and five other females left the Society. And although his landlord was a bigoted churchman, heat once opened his house for public worship. Preaching was commenced by John Dent, senior, of Bolton, a man who would never “sacrifice an atom of the right to an acre of the expedient.” And the house was soon consecrated by the conversion of sinners. Many a time of refreshing was there enjoyed. The house being too small for those who wished to attend, a room was taken. God's blessing followed their efforts, until a beautiful little chapel was erected.
At other places, in the neighbourhood, Societies were formed, and there was a loud call for labourers—for local preachers. Joseph was not the man to stand idle, with his hands in his pockets, when the fields were white unto the harvest. He at once struck into the work, and began to preach with considerable power and success. So he continued labouring, public and private, instant in season and out of season, endeavouring to make this bad world a little better before he left it.
In 1848, he and Mr. S. Crosby were the chief agents in establishing a British school in Appleby, which was much needed both for the town and neighbourhood.
In 1852, his final affliction commenced. His working day was done. The Saturday night of life had arrived. He looked upon the past with satisfaction, feeling that he had fought a good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith. He often said, that the contemplation of his past life gave him more happiness than if he had heaped up stores of wealth. His affliction continued nine months. That religion which he had lived to teach, was his support and consolation. He often said to those who visited him, “What should I have done if I had to seek religion now !" He fronted the king of terrors with a calm brow, feeling that he was a conquered foe. When near his last silence, and the mighty gates of death were opening, he whispered, “Quite happy! quite happy!” and thus, on the 19th of January, 1853, he passed away to join the general assembly of the church of the first-born.
In pourtraying my friend, I have no intention of saying that he was an angel, free from all defect. The best of men are but men at the best. A bent tree must not be drawn straight, or biography is of no use. Το read most of our religious memoirs, one would think that the departed were personifications of every excellence. It is not certain that they had any failings, but if they had, they are sure to be those which lean to virtue's side. When Cromwell had his portrait taken, he told the artist to paint his scars and worts, or he would not give him a shilling for his trouble. And Joseph Craig was a vehement hater of all whitewash and varnish : he would be the last man who would wish for any extravagant eulogy. Could he speak, he would say,—“Honestly say the truth, or say nothing."
Although, on the whole, he was one of the widest-minded and deepesthearted men I ever met with, yet he had a few narrow points. One of these was respecting dress. Exceedingly plain himself, he had not sufficient charity for those who were not so puritanic. Not that he would have maintained that a man's religion was necessarily connected with the width of his hat-brim, the cut of his coat, or the colour of his neckerchief; but still he was a firm opponent of all change in dress, and it was quite a treat to hear with what gusto he denounced the ladies' new fashions. However, although he might now and then strain at gnats, nobody could ever say, that he swallowed camels. Neither was he one of those stupid dunces, who make it their boast, that, they had precisely the same views at fifty, as they had at five-and-twenty. He was ever ready to listen to what might be said in opposition to his own opinions, and was never ashamed to acknowledge he had been wrong. Let me give a case in point. Till the year 1846, he had never been in a large town. In that year he went to Rochdale, to represent the Appleby Circuit, in the Annual Assembly. Before that time he had entertained very strong and decided objections against Organs in places of worship. While there, he heard the singing in Baillie-street Chapel, (which no one who has once heard will soon forget,) and found that an Organ might be made of great service. When he went back to his Circuit, like a manly man, he confessed his error, and very soon after, there was an Organ erected in the Appleby chapel. But though you find a few narrow points in his character, he was a catholic-hearted man.
The limits to which Magazine memoirs are confined, will prevent me dwelling on several interesting traits of my friend's character. Suffice it to say, that his mental powers were strong, his perception clear, and judgment sound. He was a shrewd observer of men and things. As a local preacher, he was an original, always looking through his own spectacles. While listening to him, you always felt in contact with a living man, who was speaking out of the fulness of his heart what he believed to be important truth.
To a stranger, he seemed stern, even to harshness ; but there were deep springs of tenderness in his soul, which sometimes caused the tears to trickle down his manly cheek.
He had no sympathy with a certain class of religionists, who think they are pious when they are only bilious ; who are always pulling long faces, and crying, “Woe is me.” He thought that both tears and laughter were the gift of God. He was passionately fond of music, and for many years was the leader of the Appleby choir. He believed, with Luther, that “ Music is one of the finest and most magnificent of God's gifts ;" and he thankfully received it as such. But enough.
Perhaps there was no man in Appleby better known than Joseph Craig, he having supplied the greater part of the town with milk for more than twenty years, and generally used to take it round himself; and perhaps there was no man whose opinions were more decided, and freely expressed, and diametrically opposed to those entertained by nearly the whole town. A thorough democrat, an Anti-State Churchman to the back-bone, an out-and-out teetotaller ; nevertheless, I believe it is strictly and literally true, that no man in Appleby was so universally respected. Everybody believed Joseph Craig to be an honest man and a good Christian. During his affliction, he was repeatedly visited by all the clergymen of the town, although he had again and again, both in public and private, told them in plain terms what he thought of all Church establishments.
I cannot conclude this last sketch better than in the words with which old Isaac Walton concludes his Life of George Herbert
“Thus he lived, and thus he died, like a saint, unspotted of the world, full of alms-deeds, full of humility, and all the examples of a virtuous life.
-All must to their cold graves ;
Smell sweet in death, and blossom in the dust.
ROCHDALE CIRCUIT. The Annual Circuit Tea Meeting of the Wesleyan Methodist Association was held in the spacious school-room connected with Baillie Street Chapel, on Tuesday evening, the 9th inst. Upwards of eight hundred persons sat down to tea, which was beautifully served by female waiters.
After tea, John Petrie, Esq., was called to the chair. A suitable hymn was sung, and prayer offered by the Rev. John Mather, of Bury. The chairman then addressed the crowded audience, and said, Christian friends, Good children, it is said, do as they are bid. The committee have requested me to come here, and I have complied with their request. But I am here, also, because we have had good meetings on past occasions. I have often been benefited in similar gatherings. We meet for the purpose of helping each other, and I know of no reason why this meeting should not equal any which has gone before it. The chairman will have nothing much to say, but if we intend to profit, we must look higher than to the speakers. We must look for Divine influence. I hope it will be afforded, and much edification follow. We have cause to be thankful that we are making some progress. At the last quarterly meeting it was found, that notwithstanding there had been removals and deaths, we stood 38 more than on the preceding quarter-day, besides nearly 20 more on the trial list. I thought and felt how the church should be when we were singing that beautiful hymn, “Happy the souls that first believed,” &c. Believers were then added to the church daily; now if we only added one daily, that would be 365 in the year. No doubt many were added daily to the first Christian church, and we have only added about 40 in the last half-year. Surely, if all had been right, with so many means as we have, we ought to have had a larger increase. The addition of one daily, would only be one in the year for each four members. If this rate of increase was to go on among all churches, the world would soon be converted. I fear we are not doing the work of God as we ought to do. One benefit arising from these meetings is, the opportunity which is afforded of speaking on these things. The committee have appointed four important subjects for the speakers this evening :-1. The Christian Church. 2. Its work. 3. Its discouragements. 4. Its triumphs.
Three or four speakers are appointed to each of these. The brethren must bear with me if I insist on short speeches. Not more than ten minutes can be allowed, except to those who introduce the subject. I now call on the Rev. J. Molineux to introduce the first subject.
J. MOLINEUX. Theme" The Church," Mr. Chairman and Christian Friends,
1. The word Church means an assembly, or congregation, called together for any purpose; and it requires another word to define its character. An assembly of Mahometans, is a Mahometan church; an assembly of infidels, is an Infidel church; an assembly of those who nominally profess Christianity, is a nominal Christian church.
2. The true spiritual church of Christ is found of all those, however named among men, who have been called out of the world by the ministry of the word, and by the operations of the Spirit; who have been brought into union with Christ, and have obtained redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of their sins, according to the riches of His grace; who derive life, and strength, and victory, and hope, and joy, from him ; and who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. _All these form the spiritual church of Christ. He is their glorious head. This is the true catholic church. The church of the first-born. Many of its members are in glory—they have entered into the joy of their Lord. Some are on earth, struggling through the wilderness; sometimes in tears, braving conflicts, advancing forward through much tribulation to their heavenly home.
3. A company of such persons, in any place, is a Christian church. There were many churches in the days of the Apostles. There are many now. In such a church the laws of Christ will be observed. The Gospel will be preached, and the ordinances of Christianity will be attended to.
4. In the first churches there were various officers appointed : apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, helpers, and others. Several of these offices were only intended for a time; but bishops, elders, and presbyters, who were the pastors, or overseers of the flock, and deacons, or stewards, were to be retained. These were to feed the flock of Christ, the great Shepherd, and keep in order all things necessary to be attended to.
5. The government of the Christian church is of a spiritual character. “My kingdom," said Jesus, "is not of this world.” The governments of this world should have no control here. They ought, however, to afford the church protection, as it is afforded to other subjects. The laws laid down in the New Testament by Christ, and his Apostles, are the laws of the church, which must not be abrogated; and all the rules which varying circumstances may require, must be based on the laws of Christ. The church cannot employ force to bring men into its bosom. It must consist of voluntary members, nor can it inflict pains and penalties on the disobedient. It can admonish, reprove, and expel, according to Scriptural teaching, but the door must be kept open to the penitent. The members of the church must have a voice individually, or by their representatives, in the appointment of its officers. In the beginning it was so. They must also take a part in the trial and expulsion of defaulters, as in the case of the incestuous Corinthians. But all power, whether individually exercised, or by representatives, must be used in the true Christian spirit, and under a due sense of responsibility to Christ, the lawgiver and judge.
Mr. JAMES BUTTERWORTH. On the same Theme. Mr. Chairman and Christian Friends,
I do not know what I or anybody else can add to what has just been said on the subject. I had prepared something on the Christian church, but many of my thoughts have been taken. It is a congregation of faithful men, amongst whom the Gospel is preached, and the ordinances duly administered. A number of pious people united for the purpose of getting religion, and getting safely to heaven, and also of doing good on their way thither. I have looked at several authors on the subject. The Presbyterian church says, " Where there are a few gathered together, &c., &c., there, past all doubt, is the church of Christ. This is Scriptural, but how these churches could permit civil rulers to wield power over them we cannot tell ; perhaps they were compelled to do so. We are a church in Baillie Street; we have many others in the Circuit; as much so as were the churches throughout Judæa, and the churches which were n Galatia, or the seven churches St. John was commanded to address. The members of such churches are those who love God, and who love one another. Not introduced merely by the baptism of water, but by that of the Holy Ghost -My kingdom is not of this world. They are renewed persons, united to Jesus, and can say, “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath begotten us again to a lively hope,” &c., &c. They feel the claims of God; they owe him allegiance; and serve him. They think of his goodness and love, as manifested in nature, providence, and grace, and they love him. They feel the bonds of fraternal sympathy, and they love each other. We have opportunities of proving our discipleship, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another." I believe we have more opportunities of this kind than many other Christian churches. In our class meetings, band meetings, prayer meetings, love feasts, we feel we are one family, and it gives us pleasure to assist each other. Some with whom we have associated have passed the Jordan of death, and are now members of the church triumphant. I hope this will be the privilege of all, who are here, at last.
Mr. John PETRIE, JUN. Theme" Christians,-the Temples of God.” Mr. Chairman,
Whatever the meeting may think, I am persuaded I shall not sit down thinking I have done very well. If I had any thoughts prepared, standing before such an audience as this would be enough to drive them all away. If I say anything, it will be to dwell upon one point which once gave me much uneasiness, and caused me now and then to doubt whether I was a member of the church or not. The first speaker, and the second also, said, the church is not under the patronage of government, but it is the temple of God. The Apostle, after scolding the Corinthians, and speaking of them as being carnal, says, “Know ye not, that ye are the temple of God?” Now this puzzled me; how they could be the temple of God, and yet be carnal. I found that I had to struggle and bear down evils which would arise within me. I said to myself, How is this? The difficulty was removed in the following beautiful manner. The word temple was applied to the building raised by Solomon. The word means a place of manifestation of God's presence. Now, if we have the presence of God manifested within us, we are the temple of God. There are many here, and in the country parts of our Circuit, in whose hearts God thus dwells. We must keep his temple holy. Let us never forget this. I trust we shall become more holy; we must not, however, be discouraged, if we feel we have not the old man wholly destroyed; but if we have the presence of God, we are the people of God, and a part of the true Church.
Rev. J. CARTWRIGHT. Subject—" The work of the Church." Mr. Chairman, Christian Friends,
I think you will perceive that we have not time to make many observations. Every speaker will find some difficulty. There will be some danger of repetition, and some danger also of forestalling his successor. It requires some knowledge and ability to keep to these subjects by every speaker, and to do them justice, as you only allow them ten minutes each. By the Church I don't
understand, simply, Baillie Street Society, or any other Society, but the Church Universal throughout the world. Then I have the work