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Gideon Ouseley and the Connaught Peasant.
GIDEON OUSELEY was in many respects the most remarkable of Irish Methodist preachers. After his conversion, he devoted himself, body and soul, to the service of God ; and in the entire consecration of his nature he enjoyed the higher blessings of the Christian life. His joyousness of feeling frequently found vent in his favourite exclamation, “I am as happy as the day is long !” Burning with desire for the salvation of souls, he laboured for seven or eight years in an irregular, but successful
way for the conversion of his fellow-countrymen, before he received, in the year 1799, a Conference appointment in connection with the Irish General Mission. At first, he confined his evangelistic efforts to Dunmore, his native town, and its immediate neighbourhood. He afterwards extended his labours to other parts of the county of Galway ; and, eventually, was carried by his
; ardent zeal into the adjacent counties. His manner of working in those days, when Irish Popery was more modest and less audacious than it has been in recent years, would not be permitted by the Maynooth priests of the present time. He went sometimes to the very houses where the Romish clergy were celebrating Mass, and also to wakes and funerals ; and by interpreting for the ignorant people the Latin used by the priests, he managed, with considerable adroitness, to make known the truth as it is in Jesus, and to set forth to assembled crowds the one only way of salvation—that of faith in the blood of Christ. On one of these occasions he found a large congregation kneeling outside a house, which would not have held one-tenth of them, and where, in their midst, the parish priest was saying Mass. Kneeling with them, Mr. Ouseley rendered the less objectionable parts of the service into the Irish language, adding, at the end of each sentence, “ Now, listen to that !” The people heard with surprise, for the first time, the meaning of the words of the “unknown tongue" to which they had been listening for many years, and were affected to tears, especially as at the close Mr. Ouseley preached to them not controversially, but effectively—“ Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” The priest himself was the most of all amazed
at the novel interruption by the mysterious stranger. “ Who is this
Father ?” asked the astonished people. “This man!" replied the priest; "he is not a man at all, he is an angel ; no mere man could do as he has done!”
Some considerable time after this, when, one day, Mr. Ouseley was riding on horseback, he met a peasant, whom he thus accosted : “My dear man, would you not like to be reconciled to God, have His peace in your heart, and stand clear before the great Judge when He comes to judge the world ?" “Glory be to His holy and blessed name ! Sir," instantly replied the countryman ; " I have now this peace in my heart; and the Lord be praised that I ever saw your face !" “My face !" rejoined Mr. Ouseley, “where have you seen my face ? and what do you know about this peace?" “Don't you remember the day when you were at the berrin [burial], when the priest was saying Mass ??' asked the peasant in reply. “I remember it well,” said Mr. Ouseley. “Then, Sir," continued the man, you told us how to get that
peace, and I went, blessed be God ! to Jesus Christ, my Saviour, and got it into my heart, and,” placing his hand upon his heart, he added, “I have it here!"
This is the great need of Ireland at the present time : zealous evangelists, who shall go among its inhabitants, in their homes and gatherings, and show them how they may obtain
peaco with God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and that 66 without money and without price." Much has been said lately of “Ireland's wrongs,” and of “ Ireland's remedies.” But her deepest wrong has been that the truth as it is in Jesus has been withheld from her, and that she has been crushed down into degrading vassalage by a corrupt and mercenary priesthood. And her only real and efficient remedy will be found in the Gospel of the Son of God. Conciliatory surrenders to “The Man of Sin " are futile, and will never satisfy his voracious cravings. Satan is too old and too cunning to be coaxed into submission. Let all ascertained grievances of every kind be redressed; but mere political measures, and the adjustment of ecclesiastical grievances, do
GIDEON OUSELEY AND THE CONNAUGHT PEASANT.
not reach the core of her necessities. She wants freedom from idolatry and superstition, and the possessing of the saving knowledge of Christ crucified. Her people are gifted, noble, and generous ; and where not perverted and misled by the sworn devotees of another power than that of Great Britain,
villages, fairs, and markets, and proclaim to her sons and daughtrrs God's own appointed way of deliverance from condemnation and sin; let Christian teaching be maintained in Day and Sunday schools spread over the whole country; and Ireland shall be rescued from her present ignorant and enslaved condition,
they are steadfastly and enthusiastically and be found a steadfast and unfailing ally of loyal. Better soldiers her Majesty Queen England, and one of the richest possessi Victoria has not in her army; and better of the Church of Christ. colonists, when freed from the trammels of The Irish General Mission has been revived Romanism, are not to be found on the face of of late years, and is now worked, amidst bitter the earth. Give Ireland the truth, and the opposition and fierce persecution, by missiontruth shall make her free indeed. Let the Holy aries of apostolic devotedness and burning Scriptures be circulated through her length zeal. and breadth ; let itinerant evangelists, such as Gideon Ouseley, go forth to her towns,
The Rev. William Maclardie Bunting. “ Who will go and help our brethren in wood he had the distinction of being the America ?” asked Wesley, in the Conference first boy who received from the committee of 1769, at Leeds.
one additional year,” as a reward for good “Here are we,” replied two of the preachers, conduct and proficiency. At St. Saviour's, Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor, he was advised by Dr. Fancourt, the head" send us !"
master, to “go in” for an exhibition to They went forth, “ fishers of men,” to toil Trinity College, Cambridge, which it was in their holy vocation beyond the mighty
almost certain he could carry off. Other Atlantic; the poor preachers in their Assembly, counsels prevailed with his father, so that he there and then subscribing, out of their scanty was not sent to the University. It was means, fifty pounds towards the required pas- while he was a day-pupil at this establishsage money, and thus commenced public ment that he experienced the great decisive collections for Methodist Foreign Missions. change which made him “a new creature in En route to Bristol, the port of embarcation,
Christ Jesus.” The place where he found one of the two Christian missionaries was peace in believing was the most unlikely that honoured with a convert, who, although only can well be thought of. It was not in the then a simple village maiden, will ever be privacy of his own closet, while wrestling memorable in the history of Methodism. At with God in prayer; it was not in a religious an outlying place named Monyash, in the ro- meeting, aided by the sympathies and pleadmantic region of the High Peak, Derbyshire, ings of holy ministers and friends. It was Richard Boardman, on his way to Bristol, on London-bridge, the most crowded and lodged for the night, and preached to the vil- noisy thoroughfare in the world, where the lagers on the prayer of Jabez (1 Chron. iv. 9, passing school-boy, regardless of the animating 10). Mary Redfern heard the sermon, and and exciting scenes about him, poring, not received impressions which resulted in her upon his school-exercises, thinking not of the conversion. Ten years afterwards, Mary tempting exhibition” set before him as a
“ Redfern became by marriage Mary Bunting, scholar, but intently dwelling in thought and and to her first-born child she gave, in grate- feeling upon his sins and his Saviour, first ful recollection of the sermon under which believed and entered into rest.
The she was led to seek the Lord, the name of ceeding great and precious promise" which Jabez. _ On the career, through a long and the faith of the stripling grasped on the laborious life, of him who was thus named it occasion is one of the most encouraging which is unnecessary now to dwell. The life and the lips of the Redeemer uttered : “Him that labours of Jabez Bunting, D.D., are and ever cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out." will be interwoven with the records of Mr. Bunting began to preach as a local Methodism during the first half of the present preacher when he was little more than century. He is only mentioned now be- eighteen years of age, and was received by cause he was the father of William M. the Conference of 1824 as a probationer for Bunting, the subject of the present biographi- the Methodist ministry. During the course cal sketch.
of the year “ called out” by the PreWILLIAM MAÇLARDIE BUNTING was Dr. sident to labour in the Salford Circuit, and Bunting's eldest child, and was born on very soon became popular as a preacher. For the 23rd of November, 1805. When twenty-five years he exercised a highly tidings of the birth were communicated to acceptable and useful ministry ; the most the father he fell upon his knees, and prayed intelligent and the most devout duly apprethat God might make his son a Methodist ciating his service in the Lord, in London, preacher. This first prayer for his first-born Manchester, and other towns.
In consewas answered. Young Bunting was edu- quence of failing health, (being frail through cated. " successively at Woodhouse Grove, life at the strongest, he retired from the and Kingswood schools, and at St. Saviour's full work of the ministry while yet in Grammar School, Southwark, At Kings- middle age, and several years before his
REV. WILLIAM MACLARDIE BUNTING.
venerable father became a Supernumerary.
will of God. In connection with the comDuring the extended period afterwards, mittees of several religious institutions, lig in which he resided at Highgate-Rise as a exerted considerable influence for good. He Supernumerary minister, the several Metho
was, moreover, an attentive and a deeply symdist congregations of the metropolis had the pathetic visitor of the sick. As a poet of an advantage of his occasional appearance in their elevated order, he sang in strains of consolapulpits. True, now and then, he ran the risk tion to the bereaved, and especially to bereaved of neutralising the benefit of his beautiful parents. Naturally strong in the domestic and profitable discourses by their immoderate affections, and intensely happy with the exlength, when (to use the homely remark cellent Christian lady who survives him as applied to him by William Jay of Bath) he his widow, and with his two daughters—the tried “to pour a bucket of water into a pint elder of whom preceded him but a short time pot.” Still he had many hearers whose minds since to the better land—his harp was strung were capacious enough to receive all the frequently to home themes. A felicitous wish, instruction he could pour into them, and who contained in one of his letters, could only be had patience enough to endure any inter- conceived by a poet-saint :-“I have welference with domestic arrangements, or with comed," writes he, “ more babies from heaven personal comfort, which the “long preaching” to earth, (as they always seem to me to come,) (never until midnight, like Paul's at Troas) and sung more back from earth into heaven, of so beloved and gifted a minister might than, I will venture to say, any rhymester occasion. Notwithstanding this drawback, in living or dead. The least those whom I have the estimation of some, his ministry was canonized can do will be, when I go to heaven,
I appreciated by his hearers in general, and to form a cherub-choir, and meet me as far more especially by those who were themselves towards earth as my sick-chamber, attending most eminent in intelligence and holiness. me to the gates of their own world. But His preaching was highly instructive and there is a better promise 'than that ] edifying, truly evangelical, and blessedly will come and receive you unto Myself.' rich in “the unction of the Holy One.”
Mr. Bunting was not a voluminous writer; He was
a real Methodist; and, there- but one of his poetical compositions is annually fore," large-hearted, and above
sung on the first Sunday of the year by a tarianism. His catholicity of feeling led larger number of spiritual worshippers than, him to join himself at the beginning to the parhaps, any other hymn in the English lanEvangelical Alliance. For some years he guage ; viz., the well-known covenant hymn was one of the editors of Evangelical in the Wesleyan Collection : Christendom,”—the official organ of the
"O God! how often hath Thine ear Alliance. At the death of Dr. Bunting, who
To me in willing mercy bow'd ! had been one of its honorary secretaries, Mr.
While worshipping Thine altar near, William was appointed to the place left
Lowly I wept, and strongly vow'd : vacant by the decease of his father.
But ah! the feebleness of man!
Have I not vow'd and wept in vain ?” He was on terms of intimate friendship with many ministers of different denomi- The deeply interesting volume recently nations, both of the Church of England issued from the Conference Office, entitled and of the Nonconformists. The late Dr. “ Memorials of the late Rev. William M. BunSumner, the good Archbishop of Canter- ting,” places this estimable servant of Christ in bury,evidently knew his man, when he called on a lovely light. His Sermons, Letters, and Mr. Bunting to pray in a large assembly of Poetry, all show that he was an eminently ministers, including dignitaries of his own holy man. His death came somewhat unexChurch, and of the more prominent ministers pectedly, both to himself and to his friends. He of other Churches, who waited on him as a de- felt the solemnity of the sudden summons when putation. “I suppose he was the first Noncon- it came. But, while loving life, he was submisformist,” observes his brother and biographer, sively obedient; and in immediate prospect of "who had prayed audibly in Lambeth Palace the great change, he gathered up all his powers since the Restoration."
of heart and mind, and, with clasped hands, said, Mr. Bunting's life was largely that of an as his last earthly utterance, “I renounce my invalid, and, consequently, is not so full of sins; I renounce my righteousness; I renounce incident as it would have been had he been every thing, save the blood and merit of more actively engaged. And yet, in his Christ!” At the close of life he was attended by debility and comparative retirement, he tried, his wife and daughter, the latter supporting and not in vain, to serve his generation by the her dying father in her arms, and whispering
in his ear the words wisich his faith, under widely different surroundings, grasped so many years before on London-bridge—“ Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” It was on the 13th day of November, 1866, that William Maclardie Bunting, sustained by this blessed promise, entered heaven. And his life and death most encouragingly illustrate the power of a devoted father's prayers for his children ; and the possibility of serving the Church and of glorifying God in bodily weakness and debility.
The following lines, composed by him, express at once his Christian submission, and
his unfailing trust in God, in extreme suffer. ing :
“' 'Midst much affliction, Lord, I think,
Thus suffer all mankind their due ;
But lead into the fiercer flame,
Clags-Loaders. METHODIST CLASS-LEADERS have an important and a responsible charge committed to them. They have the care of souls ; and upon their faithfulness depends greatly the state of the Church to which they belong. The whole in this, as in other things, includes the parts ; and as the members, so will the Church be. Diligent attention to each member is enjoined in the “ rules" given to each leader on admittance into office. The leader is to see each member once a week, and to inquire into his state, spiritually; so that suitable counsel may be given. Neglect of this primary rule of Methodism has lost from it, and alas ! from Christ, and from heaven, many that might have been retained and saved. Such neglect cannot but weaken the bond between leader and member, and diminish the desire of Christian fellowship. On the other hand, where the leader's ceaseless concern for the spiritual welfare of each member of his class is practically manifest, there is, usually, a response most pleasing and satisfactory. We have many words of counsel to offer on the mode of conducting class-meetings, so as to promote their efficiency, and on the modes in which members may be best dealt with in their respective states of mind and experience; but, for the present, we content ourselves with these few general words on the vigilance needed by the Church
om class-leaders towards the members of their
respective classes. A zealous, devoted class. leader will, usually, lead to zeal and devotion the members of his class ; and as the classes, so will be the societies of Methodism. Hence the vital importance of faithful class-leaders.
Local Preachers. METHODIST LOCAL PREACHERS are numerous and important in the body to which they belong. No other Christian community has such an army of lay-helpers spread over the world. On each Sabbath, as it comes,
. thousands and tens of thousands go to and fro amidst towns, villages, and hamlets, proclaiming to sinful and perishing men the Word of Life. This they voluntarily do without fee or reward of any kind, save that which surpasses all other remuneration—the luxury of doing good ; and before the Throne and the Lamb in heaven there is now a countless multitude who were spiritually awakened and converted by the devoted efforts of Methodist local preachers. Jealousy for the undiminished honour and efficiency of this agency in Methodism induces us to venture upon a word of counsel to them who belong to it, and that is, to watch carefully over their own order, and not to hastily add to it such as do not sustain its credit, either intellectually or spiritually. A weak and inefficient local preacher not only fails intheservice with which he is immediately connected, but also injures the reputation of the whole body of local preachers. Let trial