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they reproached him for having brought a lasting disgrace on the family, and said that they would rather have followed him to his grave than that he should have become a Methodist! This erroneous and unhappy view of his case called forth his tender pity, and his prayers for their conversion. The grace of which he had been made the partaker, meanwhile brought forth manifold and appropriate fruits: he felt a deep compassion for the souls of the youth around him; and, constrained by this feeling, requested permission from his employers to read the Scriptures and to offer prayer with the young men in the establishment. This novel application was not, at first, favourably entertained by one of the firm ; but, at length, Mr. Alsop's consistent conduct and importunate plea prevailed. A work thus undertaken, with the sole motive of doing good, was not likely to be unattended with beneficial results. By this very instrumentality several were brought to a knowledge of Christ ; among whom was the wife of that member of the firm who had been strongly opposed to the introduction of family-worship. One intelligent individual, to whom Mr. Alsop's example bad been made a great blessing, remarks : “I was struck with his self-denial, his love of prayer, his indifference to fashion and dress, his fidelity and boldness in reproving sin, his avoidance of light and trifling conversation, and his diligence in applying a portion of his leisure time to the visitation of the sick.” This exemplary deportment, altogether so unusual among the class of his acquaintance, led the author of the above remarks at first to conclude that the whole was prompted and sustained by the hope of attracting the favour of God, and meriting a place in heaven! But a more intimate knowledge soon showed that this opinion was utterly groundless, and that Mr. Alsop's diligent observance of Christian duty was combined with an exclusive trust, for acceptance and salvation, in the atonement and intercession of the Redeemer.-Our deceased brother was much gratified by a letter from the late Mrs. Brackenbury, in acknowledgment of the religious attention which he had paid to a young relation of hers, when residing in Hull. “From the accounts Thomas Holland has given me of you,” Mrs. B. writes, “I am sure you will excuse the liberty I take in addressing you, and requesting that you will do me the favour to continue your very
kind attention to my nephew by taking him with you to chapel and to class. I am thankful to find that he will be happy to embrace any opportunity of serving God; and, as very much depends on the company and counsels of others, I cannot but hope Thomas will derive much benefit from your pious instructions, and that God will reward your labour of love by His blessing on your soul.”
One prominent characteristic of Mr. Alsop was the faithful, earnest, and yet affectionate, manner in which he was wont to reprove sin, when committed in his presence. Mr. Wesley has observed, that this was the practice of the primitive members of his Society. “All the subjects of that revival, all the Methodists, so called, in every place, were reprovers of outward sin: and indeed so are all that, being justified by faith, have peace with God, through Jesus Christ.” The following extracts from Mr. Alsop's journal will show that he was a worthy successor of the class described by the venera ble divine :
“On my way from Hull to Wensley, my mind was pained with the wicked conversation of the coachman, whom the Lord enabled me to reprove in the spirit of meekness and love.-Two soldiers, also, I met with, one of whom I was under the necessity of reproving in the same way: I gave to each of them some small pamphlets, which I had bought for distribution.—I was also under the painful necessity of reproving a gentleman, apparently of great respectability, who frequently used the name of God very irreverently. On our separating at Doncaster, he requested me to put a letter into the box of the postoffice; on which I begged that he would excuse my taking the liberty of mentioning how my mind had been pained by his conversation, and urged that he would remember and observe the third commandment. He politely thanked me for the reproof, and promised not to forget it.” Mr. Alsop adds, “I am thankful that the Lord enabled me to take up my cross.”
During this visit to Wensley, his native village, he made an attempt to introduce the Wesleyan ministry. When he could not prevail on any resident to open his house, he hired a room, and requested that supplies might be sent from the Belper Circuit, which was readily granted. After the lapse of some months, a Society was formed : the prejudice which the members of his own family had previously manifested considerably abated, and some of these were made partakers of the faith which they had been wont to despise, and had sought to destroy. Subsequently a failure of health led Mr. Alsop to seek the benefit of his native air ; and, during this visit, he accomplished an object which had long been dear to his heart—the introduction of family prayer into his father's house. On recovering his health, he engaged as commercial traveller with Messrs. Wood and Westhead, of Manchester, and continued in their service until he settled in business for himself. It is generally admitted that this occupation is not favourable to the cultivation and growth of piety; but such was the watchful and prayerful spirit of our deceased friend, that, though he continued in it for several years, he sustained no spiritual loss. He was in the habit of confessing Christ in all companies, and on all occasions; and was never ashamed of his Christian profession, or of the people with whom he esteemed it a privilege and an honour to be united in church-fellowship.
In the year 1814 he married, and became a resident in Hull. His former friends welcomed his return; for they found him as exemplary in the profession and practice of godliness as in years past, and, indeed, more actively engaged in the service of the Saviour. During his residence in Manchester, he had been in the habit of occasionally exercising as a Local Preacher; and now, having more leisure, and believing it to be the call of duty, he willingly encountered the toil of visiting distant villages, and showing to his fellow-sinners the way of salvation. His ardent piety, combined with edifying gifts, pointed
him out as a suitable person to be invested also with the office of Class-Leader; and most conscientiously and faithfully did he discharge its important duties. When any of his members were absent, it was his invariable rule to visit them in the course of the week. This practice he continued, until he was incapacitated by sickness.
The obligations which devolved upon him as a master, and as a parent, were discharged with great fidelity. No person ever entered his service without hearing and feeling that he cared for the spiritual interests of his household. In some instances his efforts were crowded with success, and he had no greater joy than to hear that he had been instrumental in bringing a sinner to Christ. In the bosom of his family the influence of his character was most salutary. His children were the subjects of earnest and continuous prayer. To this were added early and appropriate instruction and counsels. He laboured to present religion in the most attractive aspects before the opening mind; and, in all this, he was greatly aided by the intelligent and affectionate co-operation of his excellent wife.* Few parents have had equal cause to rejoice in the success of their efforts.
From the period of his marriage, his house was the home of Wesleyan Ministers. He loved and honoured the servants of God for their work's sake; and many can testify with what unfeigned pleasure he united in the spiritual conversation and devotional exercises which distinguished and hallowed those friendly interviews. In the course of a long and honourable connexion with the church, he was called to sustain various lay-offices; in each of which he was “found faithful.”
Though no man was more alive to the claims of friendship, or surrounded by a more agreeable circle of friends, yet no personal or private consideration could induce him to deviate from what he believed to be the path of duty. He would not willingly oppose or grieve any individual; but on no account would he offend his conscience, or be deterred from the adoption or support of measures which he judged calculated to promote the glory of God and the benefit of His church. During the time in which the writer of this memoir resided in Hull, the question of dividing the Circuit was brought before successive Quarterly Meetings. A difference of opinion existed on the subject. Mr. Alsop agreed with those who thought that the division was necessary, and that it ought not to be delayed. His voice and vote were in accordance with his judgment; but, in so speaking and acting, he opposed the views of some of his dearest friends. This was very painful to him ; but he felt that he could not
* Since the preparation of this memoir, it has pleased Almighty God to call Mrs. Alsop hence; and she has rejoined her sainted husband where “ adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.” The manner of this solemn visitation was most affecting. Mrs. Alsop suddenly expired on board the steam-packet between Hull and Grimsby. Her “memory” is truly “blessed.” Of her and her exemplary consort it may be said, in the language of David's elegy, that they “were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not " Jong « divided."Edits.
do otherwise. Nor did he ever regret the measure.
The success which followed the division, and which was the result of it, must have convinced all parties that no step could have been more promotive of the extension of Methodism, and the interests of religion.
A prominent trait in the character of our deceased friend, was a constant reliance on the guidance of Divine Providence. Believing that the “ steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,” he diligently sought this blessing for himself, and for his family. In many events in his history he saw the interposing, overruling hand of God, and distinctly recognised the answer of special and earnest prayer. The remark of a Puritan writer was verified in his experience : “He who observes a Providence, shall always have a Providence to observe."
During the latter part of his life, he was the subject of much physical pain and weakness; and he sometimes complained of the absence of those joyous emotions of which he had heard others speak in similar circumstances. But he gratefully acknowledged that he enjoyed abiding peace, and that he felt a calm and firm reliance on the atonement and merits of his Redeemer. When the enemy was permitted to assail him with sore temptation, and the spiritual conflict became severe, he sought, and always found, relief in prayer. In the autumn of 1846, by the advice of his medical attendant, he removed to Hastings, to try the effect of a milder climate. Though not permanently benefited, he was thankful for that mitigation of his disease which followed on the change,—especially as it afforded him the opportunity of attending once more in the holy sanctuary, and uniting in public worship. This, however, was the last service of the kind at which he was permitted to be present. He regretted the privation, but patiently submitted to the will of God. In the following spring he returned to Hull, and for a few weeks was so much better as to encourage the hope of recovery. But this proved fallacious. He caught cold: the most distressing symptoms appeared, and it was manifest that the time of his departure was near. About three weeks before his death, he had a sudden seizure in the night, which threatened speedy dissolution. His wife and children instantly surrounded his bed. He seemed engaged in some strange and severe mental conflict, but at length suddenly exclaimed, “Christ is the only true foundation. We must all come to this at last. Do
believe it?" He then revived a little, exhorted each member of his family to holiness of heart and life, and then requested his son to pray with him, but added, “I will pray first.” This he did in a very solemn and affecting manner, commending each one in his household to the care and blessing of Heaven. This was the last andible prayer he offered. The effort appeared to exhaust his strength.
On being informed that it was decided to invite the Conference to hold its session of 1818 in Hull, he expressed his gratification at the decision, and the pleasure which it would afford him, if he were permitted to behold that venerable assembly. Of this, however, there was not the remotest probability. His disease made rapid advances; but his mind was tranquil, undisturbed by doubt or fear. He frequently
cited portions of holy Scripture, and verses of our hymns, as expressive of his feelings and hopes. Under the pressure of severe suffering, he said, “What a happy release it will be when God sees fit to take me home! I am sometimes ready to wish for it; but I wait the Lord's time.” The visits of his pastors and Christian friends were peculiarly acceptable and profitable. The appropriate topics on which they conversed, and the earnest petitions which they offered, found a deep response in his regenerated heart. On some occasions his joy was so great as to constrain him to adopt the language of the Psalmist, —“Bless the Lord, O my soul ; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” “My flesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” A few days before his decease, when the members of his family were standing round his bed, and while he looked upon them with inexpressible tenderness and affection, he said, “ It is far better to depart, and be with Christ.” On the day of his death he was visited by old riend Mr. Henwood, and subsequently by the Rev. George Steward. On both occasions he heartily united in prayer, and audibly responded to the petitions presented on his behalf.' While the latter gentleman was addressing a few words of consolation to his sorrowing wife, Mr. Alsop clasped his hands, and said, “The will of the Lord be done.” Shortly after, his appearance indicated that his end was near. On being asked if he felt Christ precious, he distinctly answered, "Yes!” This was the last word he uttered. He remained insensible for about an hour, and then “fell asleep.” This event occurred July 27th, 1847.
MEMOIR OF MR. WILLIAM BEECROFT,
BY THE REV. HENRY GRAIIAM. MR. WILLIAM BEECROFT was born at Lowestoft on Sept. 29th, 1801. When he was but seven years of age, his father died, leaving him, an elder brother, and three sisters, to the care of their mother. The bereaved parent was necessarily involved in great trouble and care. These were soon enhanced by the death of her eldest son ; and thus William was left the hope of the family. A cherished sense of filial duty secured his acquiescence in all the arrangements which his mother's circumstances required.
That mother was upright, and feared the Lord : she endeavoured to train up her children aright. They were conducted to the services of the Established Church, and on Sabbath evenings were taught the Catechism. By the calls of neighbours, however, this exercise was frequently interrupted. Mrs. Beecroft therefore deemed it for the advantage of her children that they should attend the Wesleyan chapel. There, happily, they all became converted to God. She herself was at length more fully instructed in the things of God by the same ministry, and felt it her privilege to enjoy the same salvation. They