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His remains were deposited in the family-vault of Mrs. Wiggan's relations, at East-Keal; and a proof of the uncertainty that attends all human engagements is furnished by the somewhat remarkable circumstance, that the day on which the funeral procession, on its way from the place where he died, passed through Stickney,-a village between Boston and East-Keal,—was the very day on which he had agreed to preach there the anniversary sermons for the Sabbath-school connected with the chapel. Instead of occupying the pulpit, according to appointment and expectation, he was borne through the village a lifeless corpse, followed by weeping friends, who yet were encouraged, by the circumstances of his death, to be mindful of the lessons he had taught them in life.
The character of Mr. Wiggan exhibited all the marks of genuine discipleship. His disposition was kind and amiable, his manners affable and courteous. His piety was deep, uniform, and fervent,-sustained by a cherished conviction of the worth of man's immortal soul, and of obligation to the Saviour who had redeemed it by the shedding of his precious blood. He was prudent and methodical ; punctual in fulfilling his engagements ; indeed, his whole character was sanctified by his living habitually in the spirit of prayer.
As a Minister of Christ's Gospel, he was a young man of much promise. His public discourses had evidently been prepared with much diligence and thought, and were delivered with pointed energy. His decided object was the conversion and salvation of his hearers. He sought this; and thus did his ministrations become earnest and powerful. And God graciously owned his labours; so that many were the seals given to his ministry. He was attentive to the sick ; and to the members of the church, as he had opportunity: he sought to be their Pastor indeed, visiting them, giving them counsel, and joining with them in prayer.
His friends, in particular, feel that they have sustained no ordinary loss; but, amid all their grief, they rejoice to know that, in the solemn hour of death, his testimony was unchanged; and what he witnessed to them while living, he confirmed when dying. He is removed from them ; but his removal is to that glorious inheritance of which it is said, “ And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, Deither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are done away."
MEMOIR OF MRS. ELIZABETH SLADE,
LATE OF THE GREAT QUEEN-STREET CIRCUIT, LONDON. ELIZABETH SLADE, whose maiden-name was Mogridge, was born at Bradnich, in Devonshire, March 17th, 1771. Her parents were in the habit of attending the services of the established Church ; but her
mother, some time after her marriage, began to frequent the meetinghouse of the Society of Friends: she ultimately joined that community, became truly pious, and, to the end of her days, adorned the doctrine of God her Saviour. The father continued a Churchman, was strictly moral in his conduct, but strongly opposed to every thing like religious innovation; and could not, therefore, view with complacence or satisfaction the proceedings either of his wife or children, when they began to seek instruction, and to attend the means of grace, amongst Dissenters.
Elizabeth was the youngest of six children, and the object of strong parental affection. She sometimes accompanied her father to the church, and sometimes her mother to the meeting-house. From her earliest days the Spirit of God frequently strove with her ; but, until she was about eighteen years of age, no very decided impressions in favour of religion were made upon her mind. She was then led by circumstances to attend the preaching of the Wesleyan Methodists, at Collumpton: there the great truths of the Gospel were set before her mind in a more striking manner than previously they had been, and were the means of awakening her fully to a sense of her danger. Her convictions of sin became exceedingly strong, and her sorrow on account of it more than ordinarily deep. For about three months she endured so much mental distress, that she was brought to the verge of despair ; but at length, under a very encouraging sermon, she was enabled to cast herself on the mercy of God, through the merits of the atoning sacrifice of his Son; and her sorrow was turned into joy. “ The spirit of bondage to fear” was exchanged for “the Spirit of adoption ;” and the language of her heart was, “ O Lord, I will praise thee; for though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me.” And her peace of mind was accompanied by power over sin. She ran “the ways of God's commandments with enlargedness of heart:" it became her meat and her drink to do the will of her heavenly Father. The word preached was spirit and life to her soul; and the means of grace, in general, were as channels, through which she was continually receiving fresh supplies of heavenly light and comfort, of purity and power : she was, therefore, regular and constant in the use of them. She had, indeed, nearly three miles to walk to the place where they were held; and the walk was very fatiguing, as there were so many hills between Bradnich and Collumpton : yet over those hills, in all kinds of weather, she habitually went; scarcely ever omitting an opportunity of hearing the word, attending a prayer-meeting, or enjoying communion with the people of God. And being, when young, notwithstanding these difficulties, thus regular in her own attendance on the ordinances of religion, it is not surprising that, in after-life, she should sometimes say strong things, and evince something like impatience, in reference to those who, in far more favourable circumstances, are much less regular in
the observance of what she ever considered as the most sacred duties.
After adorning her Christian profession, in her native place, for some time, she lost her affectionate father, and, with her widowed mother, removed to Exeter; where, for several years, they obtained a respectable livelihood by keeping a shop. The difference in their religious sentiments did not at all affect their Christian harmony: they dwelt together in much peace. The mother respected the daughter for her consistency and zeal, and loved the people to whom she was united for her sake ; and the daughter was exemplary for her filial attachment, and for the conscientious discharge of every relative duty. The cause of Methodism, in Eseter, was then in its infancy,--the number of members in society being only about forty. There was, however, regular preaching, and the opportunity of meeting in class ; and Miss Mogridge derived much spiritual profit from having as her Leader a Mr. John Eslake,-a man eminent for his piety, well known in that part of the kingdom for his attachment to Methodism, and greatly beloved by Christians of all denominations. Under his watchful and judicious care she“ grew in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” She was plain in her dress, modest and retiring in her habits, and but little superior, in educational advantages, to her religious associates generally; but she had a good natural understanding; and this, combined with her sweetness of temper, and propriety of conduct, soon obtained for her considerable influence, and made her a person of some note in the little community to which she belonged.
At that period, nearly fifty years ago, the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism was carried on, in most parts of the kingdom, with much greater eagerness and warmth than it is at the present day; and in Exeter and its vicinity disputes ran very high. There Dr. Hawker's influence, as a Preacher and as a writer, was very extensively felt. Many of the Dissenting Ministers were of his school of theology, and insisted so much on the doctrines of an extreme Calvinism, that some of their hearers were driven almost to despair ; and others, there was reason to fear, were led to cry, “ Peace, peace!” when God had not spoken peace, by embracing, as the truths of the Gospel, the corrupting and soul-destroying principles of Antinomianism. It was scarcely possible to be neutral in this controversy. All the Methodists in that part of the country were obliged, in selfdefence, to study the doctrines which, it was well known, the Founder of their societies strenuously advocated; those, for instance, of general redemption, the witness of the Spirit, and Christian perfection, which were regarded by many as monstrously strange and heretical. Miss Mogridge brought her reading, and her plain good sense in interpreting Scripture, to bear upon these doctrines, and especially upon the subject of general redemption; and amongst the persons to whom she
was particularly useful, in explaining what she believed to be the teaching of Scripture on these points, was Mr. Slade, who afterwards became her husband. He, likewise, was born at Bradnich ; but served his apprenticeship at Exeter, where she was then living. A friendly intimacy had been maintained between their families for many years. When they renewed their acquaintance in Exeter, he sat under the ministry of a Mr. Tanner, who was a high Calvinist, of the school just mentioned, -of whom a Memoir was subsequently written by Dr. Hawker himself. Mr. Slade had been brought into great trouble of mind by Mr. Tanner's preaching : he laboured under the distressing conviction that he was amongst the number of those who were, by an eternal decree, excluded from salvation ; but, in the course of several conversations with Miss Mogridge, his views underwent a change, and he was encouraged to “trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of such as believe.” He was likewise induced to attend the ministry of the Methodists, under which he drank in the doctrine of a general and free salvation, as the thirsty land drinks in showers. He also saw that it was his duty and privilege to join himself to the society; and, some time after he had done this, he made an offer of marriage to her who had been of so much service to him in spiritual things. The offer was accepted, though the marriage was postponed for a short time. When, however, Mr. Slade had been for about a year and a half in a situation in London, following his employment, he was united to her who was for many years his affectionate companion, and a most suitable helpmate. This event took place in July, 1804.
Mrs. Slade, on her settlement in the metropolis, found herself, as a Methodist, in the possession of superior advantages; and these she so diligently and successfully endeavoured to improve, that her profiting appeared to all who knew her. But, in consequence of having a large family,—four sons and four daughters, in a very few years, --she could not, for a while, take any active part in religious and benevolent institutions. She was consistent and useful as a private member of the society; but, for some years, she filled no official situation in the church. It would seem that the Rev. Henry Moore first employed her as the Leader of a class, at Saffron-hill. This must have been some time in 1808, or 1809; those being the years in which that venerable Minister of Christ laboured in the Queen-street-then denominated, in the Conference Minutes, “the London West-Circuit.” The Rev. George Marsden, some years afterwards, employed her to raise a class in connexion with Great Queen-street chapel; and this, from a small beginning, became, under her care, both large and prosperous. No one could doubt the propriety of her being thus employed as a Leader : she clearly understood the way of salvation, and the great truths of experimental and practical religion ; and she possessed considerable readiness of speech in communicating her sentiments to
others. She appears, from her childhood, to have been fond of reading; and to have read, not for amusement merely, but for the profit which she sought thus to secure. For many years she was in the habit of making extracts from the works she perused, when she met with any thing in them by which her mind was particularly impressed, and which she thought worthy of being preserved and remembered. She has left behind her several volumes filled with such extracts; volumes which will doubtless be preserved by her friends, as proofs of her attention and diligence: they do credit both to her head and heart. No person, after perusing them, can be at all surprised that she was an agreeable Christian companion, and an instructive and useful Class-Leader. She took pains to improve her own mind, and was thus qualified to contribute to the improvement of others.
She was a woman of much prayer, and lived in the persuasion of the necessity of the continual teaching of the Holy Spirit. But she likewise knew that that Spirit spoke to men in the sacred Scriptures : these, therefore, in a devotional spirit, she diligently perused; endeaFouring so to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly to digest them,” that she might be increasingly wise unto salvation, and enabled more efficiently to instruct those who were committed to her care. She had very strong religious feelings; but she was no enthusiast. She knew that the good Spirit of God was accustomed to bless the perusal of the writings of those pious and judicious authors, who have left their works as a perpetual inheritance to the church and the world: these, therefore, as she had opportunity and leisure, she was accustomed to read. Her household concerns, indeed, and her engagements as a Class-Leader, occupied much of her time; but she took care to be an economist of time, wasting none of it in any unprofitable employment; and thus she had the more to devote to the exercises of the closet. With her this was a matter of conscience. She might easily have spent more of her little leisure among her Christian friends, and said that she had no time for reading; but she believed that this improvement of her understanding in divine things was a duty, and that it could be promoted in no other way. In this, therefore, greatly to her own pleasure and profit, and greatly to the advantage of others, she was firmly regular and persevering, setting an example of successful diligence to all who are in similar circumstances, which they will do well to imitate. It may be added, that she was accustomed not only to make such extracts as have already been mentioned, but to intersperse them with observations of her own. Some of these are of considerable length, and evince both the carefulness with which she read, and the advantages which she derived from reading.
About the time that Mrs. Slade was appointed to be the Leader of a class, she became a Visiter for the Strangers' Friend Society. She also took an active part in the Ladies' Lying-in Charity which is connected with Great Queen-street chapel; and, among the many labo