Page images
PDF
EPUB

the Church her profession was sus- February 20th, 1876.–At Stockport, tained by inward devotedness to the aged fifty-seven years, Mr. John Wil. Church's Lord. And she never lost son Bayley. It was designed by his her“ first love." She was distin- father that he should enter the minis. guished also by her attachment to try of the Church of England ; and he God's cause. The people of God were was educated with a view to this end. dear to her; and the preachers of the Circumstances arose, however, which Gospel ever found in her house a gave a different direction to his life. home. She contributed generously of having been truly converted to God, her worldly substance towards the he became, when young, a Local. erection of places of worship, and the preacher; and, during a period of support of Christian institutions. thirty-eight years, he went to and fro She was a lorer also of prayer and of scattering, with much ability and sucGod's Word. The services of the cess, the good seed of the Word. Besanctuary were a delight to her when tween thirty and forty years he was an she was able to attend them; and at exemplary class-leader; and in meethome she found joy in family and pri- ing his class, his rich Christian expepate prayer and in spiritual reading, rience and large stores of religious especially in the study of the Holy knowledge were turned to excellent Scriptures. Of this last privilege she account. All the Church offices conwas to some extent deprived, a few nected with his Circuit, which it is months before her death, by the failure competent for a layman to hold, Mr. of her sight; but even then her Bayley, at different periods, filled. memory served her, and the passages Indeed, his usefulness was, in a special which she had delighted to read in degree, of the official type, although health she was able to repeat and his more private and social influence ponder in sickness. Thus the Word was very powerful also. To Method. "hidden" in her heart was a comfort ism he was strongly attached ;-to its to her when her bodily eyes grew dim. ministers, its people, its objects, its And, further, she was characterised organization. He sought to do good by submissireness to the will of God. by means of its established and well. In bereavement and in personal afflic.

tried methods of usefulness; and tion, she never lost her faith in her great was his joy when he saw its Father's love. “Not my will, but Thine, well-adjusted machinery successfully be done !” was the expression of her worked. He never flinched from duty, habitual feeling. She knew that her nor swerved from principle ; yet, in covenant God was wise and good, and co-operation with others, he acted as a there she rested.

Christian gentleman, whose kindness When, at length, the end drew near, of spirit was felt and acknowledged. her faith and submission were still On Saturday, February 19th, he had the same. Speech failing her, she a rather hard and trying day in busiresponded by signs to the questionings ness, at the close of which he was of friends ; and on being asked if she seized with paralysis. Medical help now felt Jesus to be precious, after was immediately obtained, but in trying hard to articulate a response, vain; and after a few hours of comshe held up her hand, to signify her plete unconsciousness, he passed away abiding confidence in Him whom she to the “ rest " which remains “ to the had so long loved. And in that same people of God,” greatly beloved and confidence she passed away, to be “ for sincerely lamented by a large circle of ever with the Lord.”

friends.

J. H.

LONDON : PRINTED BY WILLIAX NICHOLS, 46, HOXTON SQUARE.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

The pioneers in the enterprise of the Wesleyan Mission to the South African Kaffirs were WILLIAM SHAW and WILLIAM SHEPSTONE. They entered Kaffirland together in the year 1823. In 1873– half a century afterwards—they met in the spirit-world. William Shaw died in England, on December 4th, 1872, after a career varied in its outward circumstances, but brightening with “ the honour that cometh from God” down to the very end. Of him I need not say more, as a history of his connection with the noble work which he began and superintended has already appeared. William Shepstone, after moving on a somewhat lower plane, and in a narrower sphere, than the “ brother beloved ” whom he always delighted to honour, died on his last mission-station, on the 26th of May, 1873, just fifty years after he first crossed the Great Fish River, to assist in founding the first Wesleyan Mission among the wild tribes of Amaxosa that bordered on the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony. His work, from its commencement to its close, was strictly missionary work. Although an edifying English preacher, he never took a Colonial Circuit; but lived and died among the native tribes, to whose highest interests he had unreservedly devoted himself.

Mr. Shepstone came from the neighbourhood of Bristol. His father filled a responsible situation as overseer of some mining operations. His mother was a superior woman, of much intelligence and piety; and her interest in the religious welfare of her children was rewarded by the Divine blessing upon them.

The family were originally connected with the Church of England; but, on their removal to Westbury, William, the youngest son, was attracted to the Wesleyan services, experienced thorough conversion to God, and at once, with other young men likeminded, gave himself to the work of doing good. He formed one of a com

VOL. XXII.- FIFTH SERIES.

2 1

pany of youths who were accustomed to meet privately in the Wesleyan chapel, to “ search the Scriptures,” to pray for each other, and to exercise their gifts of mutual exhortation. At that time he could not have been more than seventeen or eighteen years of

age. He became very useful in the Sunday-school and in prayer-meetings; and was distinguished by his readiness to “every good word and work."

He appears to have learned, at this period, the business of a builder, and to have acquired some knowledge of architecture; and was thus unconsciously preparing himself for a very important branch of his future work in the mission-field.

In the subject of Missions to the heathen he felt a deep interest in early life; and he has said that, when the South African Emigration Scheme was devised, his chief inducement to join it was the hope of being able to do good among the heathen tribes of the African continent.

In 1820 the British settlement of Albany, in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, was commenced. It was formed of parties of emigrants from various counties of the United Kingdom. Mr. Shepstone, then a young married man, joined “the Bristol Party," and cast in his lot among the four thousand settlers who exchanged the cold and gloomy winters of England and Scotland for the sunny skies of South Africa.

The days were dark in England in more senses than one. The reaction after the close of the great French war,—& succession of bad harvests,-great commercial depression,-and the growing destitution of the lower classes as the natural result, made thousands upon thousands willing to embrace the Government offers, and ready to brave the unknown dangers of even African regions to escape from present ills. Had the scheme been on a more extensive scale, vastly greater results might have been realised, and many actual perils averted, which the small band of colonists was not strong enough to meet.

A voyage to the Cape was then a more formidable affair than at present. There was no Cunard line of steamers, offering to contract for a passage in eighteen days. The usual weary three months in the old " transports " had to be endured, together with the close packing and coarse fare that were in keeping with the tediousness of the voyage.

It came to an end, however. The settlers landed on the then desolate shores of Algoa Bay, travelled a hundred and thirty miles in the slow-paced ox-wagons of the Dutch Boers, and reached at last the district allotted for the settlement.

Mr. Shepstone's location was in a picturesque region. Hill

« PreviousContinue »