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infirmity prevented it in another; we are thankful to our brethren for the kind assistance they bave rendered in supplying material for our pages; and we are encouraged by a considerable enlargement in the sphere of our labours by an increase of several hundred subscribers. To esteemed ministers and friends, therefore, we present our cordial thanks for all past favours, and entreat a coutinuance of their help,knowing, as they do, that, while their services are highly appreciated by the Editor, they are promoting the best interests of a community cordially approved in its principles by their deliberate judgment, and endeared to their affections by hallowed associations. May the coming year be one of more vigour, efficiency, and prosperity in every department of our beloved community!
3, ALBANY CRESCENT, ALBANY ROAD, LONDON,
NEW CONNEXION MAGAZINE.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. THOMAS WATERHOUSE,
BY HIS SON, WILLIAM HENRY WATERHOUSE, BIOGRAPHY is the modern method of embalming the distinguished dead. Instead of withholding the lifeless body, consigned by divine decree to its native dust, and impregnating it with “sweet spices,” lest it should say to corruption, thou art my father: to the worm, thou art my mother and my sister,—we bury our dead out of our sight, go to the grave to weep there, cherish the remembrance of excellency no more seen, and commit to the historic page, to endure through all time, the story of departed goodness and consecrated worth.
When a man of eminent usefulness, and of high office in the Christian Church, is suddenly cut off in the midst of his toils, what a dreary void is at once created! Though the hoary head and the full age truly foretoken that “the righteous perisheth,” how grievous is the stroke which takes him for ever away! Is he a husband ? a parent ? a benefactor ? a good minister ? Each relation numbers its bereaved, and the heart knoweth its own bitterness. While it is to me a source of profound regret that the venerable deceased left no written memorial of his long and arduous career, I shall count it the highest distinction to which I have yet attained, should it be found that as a son in the gospel, I have worthily borne witness of him.
My revered and most excellent parent, the Rev. Thomas Waterhouse, was born in the year 1780, at Foster Houses, near Drax, a small village about six miles from the town of Selby, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. His father was a respectable farmer, and a man of shrewd understanding, and good moral character. His mother was a thrifty and pious woman, but she died when the subject of this memoir was only nine years of age. Their family included three children, and Thomas, the first born, and the only son, largely shared in the fond affection of the parental heart. Often had the aspiring father used to say of him, that he intended Thomas to be a great man, meaning, he designed him to be a merchant, an eminent business and mercantile man. For this purpose he educated him with a view to his future vocation, and besides diligent attendance at school, he was one of a select class whom the rector of the village taught, and it is but fair to add, that his general proficiency realized the warm wishes and hopes that were indulged of him. It is a slight circumstance, perhaps, to
state, yet he was thereby all the better furnished for the work of a “Superintendent,” that he wrote an exceedingly neat and fluent hand, and could treat figures with perfect ease and exactness.
My father's religious impressions were nurtured under the ministrations of the Wesleyan Methodists, it being the custom of the family to worship with them at Rawcliffe, a small town distant four miles from Drax, and it is worthy of note that Thomas's father deemed it binding upon him to take with him his children to the house of God, and unless necessity interposed, never to omit the Sabbath day's journey to Rawcliffe. After the lapse of long years, and when the Wesleyans had builded a chapel in his native village, my father's periodical visit to his paternal home was sometimes signalized by preaching in it, and it has been my joy to behold the crowd of eager listeners gathered together to hear him preach who had become a “merchantman" indeed, a trader in "durable riches with righteousness," a possessor of the pearl of great price.
On the day he was fifteen years of age he left home to be articled as clerk to Mr. Shephard, merchant and shipbuilder at Selby. He remained here two years, when his employer removing from Selby to Hull, my father accompanied him, and continued faithfully to discharge the duties of his situation until he attained his twenty-first year. At Hull he again attended the ministry of the Wesleyans in George Yard Chapel, and here it was that he began to sustain the character of a Christian professor, “the highest style of man;" not only having yielded himself unto God, but being united with the people of God in spiritual communion and church fellowship. The exact time or the particular means of his conversion to the truth “as it is in Jesus," cannot be ascertained. From a sketch of a sermon on the forgiveness of sins," and subscribed, “ Thomas Waterhouse, Jun., wrote this, August 29, 1798," I infer the time to have been in his nineteenth year, and as to the means, the relation of his experience left no room to doubt that it was effected “ like rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth.” It was not sudden, but gradual; not boisterous, but pacific; not “ hard by” the mount that burned with fire, amid blackness, and darkness, and tempest, but under the attractions of the Cross, and by the persuasive whisperings of the still small voice:”
me, learn of me, follow me.” " When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” But in what way soever the transformation was wrought, its divine reality was speedily manifested. The darkness was gone and past, and the true light now shined. He awoke to a new sense of relation and responsibility to the God of all grace. He witnessed a good confession. He offered the sacrifice of self-dedication. He pleaded the vicarious preciousness of the ransom blood. He followed on to know the Lord. What things were gain to him he counted loss for Christ. And for his name's sake he went forth proclaiming in every place,
“ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
During his fellowship with the Wesleyans at Hull, my father was repeatedly urged to become a travelling preacher with them; and had he failed to discern “the signs of the times,” he would doubtless have complied; but a new era in the annals of Methodism had recently been
inaugurated ;-an era, the importance and auspiciousness of which, are every day being more clearly apprehended, and more wisely understood,—and he demurred to enter upon the sacred office, that he might deliberate on certain matters affecting the essential constitution and policy of Wesleyan Methodism. In 1797, the memorable struggle terminated which issued in the formation of the “ New Itinerancy.” It was not, as is well known, on any point of doctrinal or Christian theology that this separation was consummated, but solely concerning the government of the Church ; the one party maintaining the exclusive right of the preachers to legislate, the other contending for the scriptural participation in that right by the people. I have frequently heard my father confess, that at this crisis he sought “ the wisdom that is from above," and that his preference was determined by mature reflection, and as in the sight of God. He feared to be one of the “ lords in God's heritage.” He dreaded the assumption of power uncontrolled and irresponsible ; of tainting the priesthood with priestcraft, of closing the doors of Conference against the most pious and judicious of the laity. The result was, he forsook the Wesleyans, and joined the ranks of the few, and scattered, and despised seceders, whom we rejoice to characterize as the fathers and founders of the Methodist New Connexion.
His first sermon was delivered in a large upper room, in Blanket Row, Hull, from the admonitory text—“How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?” The Rev. William Thom, of blessed memory, then superintendent of the Hull Circuit, and who, previous to the division, had seen twenty-three years' service under the Rev. John Wesley, listened to this discourse; but kindly fearing that the sight of him might embarrass the young evangelist, he lay concealed by resting upon the stairs. It is supposed that Mr. Thom's counsel and example were, under God, the means of deciding father at the early age of twenty-two, to surrender himself to the hardships and vicissitudes of the Methodist ministry. He began his Connexional pilgrimage at Alnwick in 1802, and was successively stationed as follows: Blackburn, London, Leicester, Halifax, Nottingham, Norwich, Birmingham, Hanley, Sheffield, Ashton, Halifax, Manchester, Shields, Hull, Hanley, Chester, Leeds, Bolton, Dudley, Ashton, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Chester, Shrewsbury, Staleybridge, Derby, Macclesfield :extending over a period of active and uninterrupted service of fifty-one years! The Conference assembled at Longton in 1853, gave to him an additional appointment at Stockport; and he, unwearied and devoted to the last, desiring too, as he oft expressed, “ to cease at once to work and live," cheerfully accepted the allotment; but the Lord of the vineyard had otherwise ordained. The Master had said, “Well done !" The Righteous Judge was about to summon the good and faithful servant to receive a crown of glory which fadeth not away. And blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.
In reviewing my departed father's ministerial course, I must again deplore the want of an auto- biographical narration thereof. I search again and again, but fail to trace the record of his experience, drawn and inscribed with his own hand. Yet how replete with interest and instruction, how chequered with light and shade, would that experience have been! Fifty-one years of itinerant pulpit life in the Methodist New Connexion! Then what thousands of sermons had he preached ! What divers sorts of hearers had he addressed! What various degrees of acceptance and success had he shared! What changes, and trials, and perplexities! What firm, and what faithless friends! What evil men and seducers! What journeyings often, amid weariness and painfulness too! What denial and dedication of self, to pass through all creditably and efficiently,“ holily, unblameably, and irreprovably," and to the end endure! By the grace of God he did thus “commend himself," but oh! that he had written it in a book, that the generation to come might receive his own testimony! Then might I have been spared this frail memento of him.
As a minister of the everlasting Gospel, my father's qualifications could scarcely be misjudged, even by those who seldom heard him. Like the message with which he was charged, he spake not with an uncertain sound. No man could be less open to the accusation of preaching himself, and yet his manner in the pulpit was such as decidedly to exhibit his peculiar adaptation for the sacred work. There was likewise a uniformity of demeanour which, whether in public or in private, induced an easy and an agreeable recognition. Humanly speaking, he was not “educated for the ministry.” Nor did he share the advantage of a supplementary training for the discharge of its exacting obligations. He was entered of no college, matriculated at no university, and sat at the feet of no Gamaliel. Brought up to take an active part in the schemes and pursuits of the world, and retaining his secular position until called to hold forth the Word of Life, it is not surprising that of scholastic theology and biblical erudition, he knew comparatively little ;-and to such attainments he made
no pretensions. He knew himself. He was acquainted with his own official status and acceptance, and the utmost propriety of bearing was the corresponding result. Nor was he unaware of the high vocation wherewith he was called, and of the incomparable dignity of his position who stands in Christ's stead and persuades for Christ's sake. "Let a man,” says Paul, “so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” My father was conscious that “a dispensation of the Gospel was committed unto him ;" that, as to his ministerial authenticity and credentials, he was not a whit behind the very chief of the apostles, that he laboured abundantly in the word, yet not he, but the grace of God which was in him. How did he scorn the hireling, the boaster, the professional intruder and dissembler; and how careful was he to give no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed ;—that its good repute might be unquestioned, and its rightful authority be upheld !
In preaching the word he used plainness of speech. The early days of Methodism were “times of ignorance," times of spiritual darkness and decrepitude. Blindness had happened unto all. Practical religion as much needed the reviving power, which Wesley and Whitefield were honoured of God to communicate, as doctrinal religion invoked the genius of emancipation, when Luther emerged from his cell to rescue it from Popish thrall! Hence, the first Methodist teachers