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beautiful language of Job may with great propriety be employed concerning him: “When the ear heard him, then it blessed him; and when the eye saw him, then it gave witness unto him : because he delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him; and he caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.” In the cultivation of this grace he endeavoured to fulfil that apostolic, but often forgotten, precept,—“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” In his attention to this injunction, the genuineness and extent of his benevolence were fully developed ; for, his principles being known, many sought unto him ; and there are few in this neighbourhood who have not derived lasting benefit from his counsel and assistance; so that it may be said of him, "He, being dead, yet speaketh.”
Another feature very prominent in the character of Mr. Robinson was a disposition to forgive injuries. One, from a number of instances, may be adduced, in which he forgave after the offence had oft been repeated. A person who had owed him a considerable sum of money, but who had escaped payment by taking the benefit of the Insolvent Debtor's Act, was, through his generosity, permitted to become his debtor again : again he refused to pay, and actually commenced legal proceedings against Mr. Robinson on account of some alleged informality in their transactions. The case was defended; but lost. In the course of a few years this person came to want, and applied to Mr. Robinson for assistance. So far was he from returning evil for evil, that he not only frankly forgave him, but relieved him in his distresses; thus fulfilling the divine precept, “Overcome evil with good.”
In the life of this good man it is important to record an act in which he publicly denied himself, and acknowledged his Master. He was in the habit of attending Skipton market, which is held on a Monday; and was greatly grieved that the Sabbath should be desecrated by the travelling of so many persons on the sacred day, that they might arrive early at the place where their business was to be transacted. With the assistance of a few other serious
he endeavoured to change the market from Monday to Tuesday. For a while he succeeded. The change, however, was but of short duration; for the ungodly disapproved, opposed, and triumphed. The Sabbathbreakers rejoiced at his defeat, and supposed that he must either give up the market, or violate the sanctity of the Sabbath. Undaunted by his unsuccessful attempt, he resolved neither to do the one, nor forego the other ; but, by early rising, to honour his God. In the fulfilment of this resolution, for years did he quit his home immediately after the midnight of the Sabbath ; rejoicing that he was counted worthy both to do and suffer his Master's will.
It was in returning from one of these journeys that he met with the
melancholy accident that caused his death. He had, on this occasion, left his horse and gig at Burnley, and taken the coach to Skipton. On his return to Burnley the horses in the coach became unmanageable, and dashed it from one side of the road to the other with such fearful violence, as to throw off most of the passengers. Mr. Robinson grasped the rail of the coach, and perhaps might have escaped ; but, seeing a helpless woman, with her still more helpless infant, in the act of falling headlong from their seat, he let go his own hold, and saved them. But this generous act proved fatal to himself; for, before he could recover his grasp, he was thrown from the top, entangled in the wheel, and received the fracture and shock which, in five days, terminated his life. He was immediately removed to his own house, in Haslingden; where the affection of his family, the sympathy of friends, and medical skill, sought to protract a life so valuable. Incessant prayer was made to God, by the church, on his behalf; and, almost until the moment of departure, all indulged in the hope of his recovery. In the midst of this trying scene he appears to have been the only one who calmly and serenely committed the event to God. For him to live was Christ, to die was gain. The Lord had long been preparing him for the final struggle. For many months previously he had acted as a man standing upon the threshold of eternity. He had encouraged, warned, and reproved as a citizen of another country, and as if deeply anxious to be clear of the blood of all men. The last words he addressed to the members of his class were a warning, as with the prophetic lips of death, that they must soon be separated ; and an entreaty that they would meet him at God's right hand.
On the Wednesday before his death I had an interview with him ; and although his body appeared to quiver with agony, yet his mind was preserved in perfect peace. He related to me the particulars of the accident; and added, that when he was in the midst of the awful scene he apprehended immediate death, but that he had “not a doubt of sudden glory." I asked him what were his views and feelings, now that God had spared him to reflect. He replied, “ All is well; and whether I live or die, I am resigned to the will of God.” He was afterwards either not sufficiently recollected, or too languid, to converse much. His death was unexpected, yet peaceful and gentle ; so much so, that his wife and most of his children were absent from the room, and only arrived in time to witness “ the parting sigh.” Suddenly, however, as the enemy approached, the Christian warrior was ready: the conflict was but for a moment; and that, to him, was the moment of victory; in token of which he raised his eyes to heaven, smiled very sweetly, and passed away from earth.
Thus terminated, on the 13th of November, 1841, the earthly course of Mr. William Robinson ; respecting whom it may justly be said, “ Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace.”
MEMOIR OF MISS JANE AND MISS ROSANNA FINLEY,
OF DRUMCLAMPA, IRELAND.*
I. OF MISS JANE FINLEY.
JANE FINLEY, who was born at Drumclamph, in the county of Tyrone, Ireland, June 28th, 1817, was the oldest daughter of the Rev. William Finley, Wesleyan Minister. Her paternal grandfather, Mr. William Finley, was a Class-Leader for fifty years ; and for upwards of twenty faithfully served the Londonderry Circuit as its Steward. For half a century the Wesleyan Ministers visited, and preached in, his house ; and he esteemed it no little honour that Mr. Wesley himself, and Dr. Coke, were among
them. The education of Miss Finley was scriptural, and her conduct always moral; but she did not, in her earliest days, exhibit that decision which makes the love and service of God the first choice of the heart. At Drumclamph, in March, 1838, a gracious revival of the work of God took place. In one of the religious services which were held, Jane was deeply convinced of sin. She was enabled to see the truly spiritual nature of the law of God; and thus she saw, not only the nature of sin, but its exceeding sinfulness. Viewing her past privileges, and the neglected goodness of God, she felt a godly sorrow, and for several weeks was greatly distressed by the sense of her guilt. Her mind was well furnished with scriptural knowledge; and she knew, therefore, that she must turn to God, and seek, by the power of his Spirit, to apprehend his mercy in Christ Jesus. She found, however, that the mere knowledge of scriptural truth, although necessary and good in its place, was insufficient to bring comfort to her soul. She wept and prayed; but for some time she found not the peace which she desired. At a public religious meeting, those persons who were penitently seeking after God were invited to come forward, and kneel together in the presence of the congregation, to pray, and to
yed for. After some hesitation, she found that true earnestness removes false shame; and she ventured forwards, hoping that she might find pardon and peace. Her convictions became more powerful. She was drawn out in earnest prayer, and her prayers were answered. The Holy Spirit “ took of the things of Christ, and showed them unto her" in a light so clear, that she saw that God was love, and that Christ had indeed died for her. Immediately she was enabled “with the heart to believe unto righteousness;" and her mental agony, that
• We shall be obliged to our correspondents who communicate the memoirs which we, from month to month, insert, to write their names on the articles which they send, as well as in the letters which usually accompany them. In the course of two or three years these latter are mislaid, or lost; and as we cannot always remember the name of the sender, we are obliged to publish the communication anonymously, as is the case with the memoirs to which this note is appended.--Epit,
had so long pressed her down, at once ceased : her soul was filled with light and love ; and she "exulted in God through Christ Jesus, by whom she had now received the reconciliation.” She could not refrain from clapping her hands in the joy of her heart; and called on all around her, who feared God, to hearken to what God had done for her soul.
Her father was then stationed in the Killesandra Circuit; and she, without delay, communicated to him the pleasing intelligence. In this letter she describes the revival of religion which she had both witnessed and experienced; and mentions the names of thirty persons who had been lately brought to a saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. “But,” she adds, “what is best for you to know is, that myself, my dear sister Rosanna, and my brother Samuel, have found peace with God.” Addressing her sister Eliza, who was then residing with her parents, she says, “I wish you were here; but God is the same at Killesandra as he is here; and if you give him your whole heart, he will give you to know his sweet forgiving love.""
Hitherto her conduct had always been good; and as her morality was the effect of religious education, and of the preventing and restraining grace of God, although the moralist was now happily transformed into the Christian believer, yet a great and visible change in her outward conduct was not to be looked for; but it became more even and dignified; and all who were capable of distinguishing between what resulted from habit and the sense of propriety on the one hand, and the working of Christian principle on the other, saw in her whole behaviour the evidence of the change that she had truly undergone. Not forgetting the rock whence she was hewn, nor the hole of the pit whence she had been digged, humility became a distinguishing feature in her character. She remembered the apostolic injunction, “Be not high-minded, but fear ;” and not being forgetful of the tears of penitence, she watched and prayed that she might not enter into temptation, and again be entangled in the yoke of bondage. She gave all diligence to make her calling and election sure, by attending the means of grace, and carefully perusing the word of God. She sought, likewise, to promote her religious establishment, by perusing those works which tended to illustrate Christian principle, and enforce Christian practice. Mr. Wesley's writings she found to be especially beneficial to her.
For many years the domestic concerns of the family had been committed to her care; and in this department she had displayed the wisdom of age combined with the activity of youth. This, however, now prevented her from being so extensively useful to others as, in different circumstances, she might have been; but it was her duty; and she felt that she was not to choose, but to obey. Yet she found time to travel many miles as a Missionary Collector. Her disposition was retiring. Although she had frequently to enter into company, she was
always most at home in her class and in her closet. Far from the bustle of the world, she was like one of those flowers which bloom in the shade. She adorned the Christian character in comparatively secluded life, and neither sought nor desired public notice. Nor did her conscience, now tender as the apple of an eye, allow her to waste that time in idle conversation which she knew could be more profitably spent in private prayer, reading, or seeking to do good. Not that she was at all a recluse. She enjoyed the company of the people of God; and was glad both to visit, and to be visited by, the poor, that she might counsel and relieve them.
Miss Finley lived respected by all who knew her, and loved most by those who knew her best. But as she grew in grace, she saw more and more plainly that there were yet before her heights and lengths, and breadths and depths, of religious experience, which it was not less her interest and privilege, than her duty, to seek. She longed to love God, indeed, with all her heart, and to enter fully into the spirit of the divine command : “ Be ye holy, for I am holy.” And thus she lived, pursuing the even tenor of her way, and generally, it was believed, in excellent health. But she little thought that her course was to be a very brief one. Scarcely more than a fortnight before her death, she appeared to be as well as usual. Mr. Finley had now retired from the regular work of the ministry, and resided at Drumclamph. For some days she had been complaining of indisposition; and her medical attendant, on being consulted, said that she had taken a slight cold. But, unexpectedly, very alarming symptoms appeared, and she was confined to her bed. Even now, however, her greatest anxiety was
more grace.” She had for some time been earnestly praying that she might be sanctified wholly; and her prayers became now more earnest than ever. She frequently said, “I am thinking about perfect love, and praying and looking for it.” Her attention was fixed on the blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin ; and her prayers offered through Him in whom all the promises of God are and amen." On one occasion she appeared to sink into a state of such deep reflection, as to be quite unmindful of all surrounding objects ; but, suddenly reviving, she exclaimed, “ Glory, glory bé to God! I have the victory through Jesus Christ. The Lord has revived me to declare the great work he has wrought in my soul. If I should not be able to speak another word, I can now say, 'All is well !"" She appeared to be filled with holy rapture. All was joy and peace. Her will seemed to be sweetly lost in the will of God. Her language was, that, if she lived, she should live for God; and if she died, she should die to be with God. “Yes," she said, " I shall go to glory."
She was very desirous that the happiness she enjoyed should be possessed by her brothers and sisters, and exhorted them to seek all that the goodness of God waited to give them. At one time she requested that her brother William should be sent for, that she might