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A BRIEF MEMOIR oF THE LIFE anv CHARACTER
The Web. THilliam Moorhouse,
OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
BY HIS SON,
‘© My Father! my Father!” ** He, being dead, yet speaketh.”
HUDDERSFIELD: Printed and Sold by William Moore, AND MAY BE HAD OF HOLDEN, HALIFAX ; INKERSLEY, BRADFORD; HEATON, LEEDS; BAGLEY, ROTHERHAM; AND HURST, WAKEFIELD,
A MEMOIR, de.
Tue history of honourable and holy men, have spoken unto us the word of life,” claims the notice of survivors; not only when replete with striking incidents amounting al- most to miracles ; but also when containing little very unusual in that sphere in which they moved. In such records we learn those things which are useful, if they be not asto- nishing ; and things more powerfully influenc- ing the spiritual happiness or misery of human -life, than all the achievements of science, the deeds of heroes, or the power of kings. Some such lessons, it is hoped, may be learned from the following pages, which attempt briefly to delineate—not a fauliless character, nor one renowned for splendid, scientific attainments ; but ‘‘a man of like passions with ourselves ;” who knew and bewailed his own infirmities ; --a man of “ simplicity and godly sincerity ;” A
4 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF
one who endeavoured to “let his light so shine before men, that they might see his good works, and glorify our Father who is in Hea- ven.”
The Rey. William Moorhouse was born August 15th, 1742, O. S. at Shephouse, near Penistone, Yorkshire ; his parents being plain, respectable people, in the cloth-business, to which also their family was brought up. His father, Mr. Elkanah Moorhouse, having, by self- application, when learning was not widely dif- fused, acquired competent proficiency, taught his children early in life the common branches of education ; so that his second son, William, in addition to other things, had read through his bible at little more than five years old ;—a circumstance not common at that period, nor even now, when the sacred records are so abundant, and knowledge is increased. Mr. E. M., although nearly related by marriage to Roman Catholics, was strongly attached to the Church of England ; training up his family in the same principles in which he had also been strictly educated ; his father never allowing more than one of his household to stop from
THE REV. W. MOORHOUSF. 5
church on the sabbath, to attend upon domes- tic affairs of absolute necessity.
Mr. W. Moorhouse’s religious impressions took place when he was very young, as jis generally the case with those destined by hea- ven for ministerial usefulness ; but by what means they were first excited does not fully appear ;—most probably they arose from at- tending the meetings of the Wesleyan Metho- dists, who then first began to flourish in York- shire ; for, in a family belonging to that deno- mination, he resided as a cloth-maker five or six years. About this time, he frequently, on the Sabbath, walked to Huddersfield, and re- turned, (a journey of twenty-five miles) after hearing the Rev. H. Venn, vicar of that place, who was, indeed, ‘a burning and shining light” where “ gross darkness” covered the people ; of whose ministry he was a warm ad- mirer, and Mr. V. saw in his young hearer the presages of future eminence and usefulness. Soon after this, Mr. M. commenced business for himself; and, by industrious frugality, had so fair a prospect, that many of his acquaint- ance considered him as foolish, to relinquish it, which he soon did, for the Christian minis- A 2
6 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF
try ; especially as he was recently married. This served, however, to exhibit the purity of his motives, and cut off “ evil surmisings.” His affectionate wife was Sarah, daughter of Mr. Roebuck, one of his neighbours: by her he had six children, two of whom survive him; one has been eighteen years in the ministry, at West-Melton, near Rotherham. Mr. M.’s second wife was Frances, relict of Mr. Haigh, near Huddersfield: she died July 23d, 1807.
He was many years in connexion with the Methodists, noticed for his superior abilities in leading their prayer-meetings, and preach- ing occasionally for them, till his views on the jive points became thoroughly changed, espe- cially on the doctrines of redemption, and man’s free will. This great alteration arose not from a fickle temper, a whimsical love of no- velty, or a cavilling spirit; much less from party ambition ; but from sound conviction, and diligent study of the Scriptures, to which, doubtless, the ministry of Mr. Venn, and of Mr. Thorpe, who was then at Masbro’, near Rotherham, and whom he occasionally heard, greatly contributed. Such were-Mr. M.’s re- putation and influence, and the superior power
THE REV. W. MOORHOUSE. 7
of free religious inquiry, that a division took place among the Wesleyans ; part of the so- ciety encouraging him to preach his new doc- trines, generally denominated Calvinistic, in his own house, and the adjacent places, and many flocked to the standard. He was soon invited to preach in Huddersfield, where after- wards he settled; having on New year’s day, 1772, opened a new chapel, erected under the encouraging sanction of Mr. Venn; who, being soon to leave the town, and knowing that many in his congregation were strongly in- clined to leave the established Church, gave them, with a liberality very uncommon, his decided support, recommending Mr. M. as their future minister. Mr. V. also wrote and printed an affectionate.and pastoral letter to the people, dated the very week that the cha- pel was opened. The election of a preacher among the new Dissenters, was by vote of all who subseribed half a guinea to the building, which caused no small exertion and canvass- ing for three candidates, Mr. M. obtaining the situation by a majority of only one vote, and that a casting one. His competitors were Mr. Dawson, of Cleckheaton, and. Mr. Crosley, of Booth, with whom he always lived in the A3
8 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF
greatest friendship. Itis rather singular, that after his election as minister by the congrega- tion, a church was formed, who unanimously called him to the pastoral office, in which he continued among them above fifty years, with great acceptance and usefulness. With what dispositions he entered upon his solemn charge appears from his answer to their invitation, in which he objects,—“ My own inability for a work of such importance ; my want of learn- “ing, which, at least, is the world’s stumbling ‘block, and my scanty experience in divine “ things ;—so that if Moses complained of a “slow speech,—if Isaiah complained of un- “ cleanness,—if Amos complained of his per- “sonal meanness, as being a herdsman,—if Paul complained of bis vileness, so that he “could pot expect the people to receive his “ word,—I may subscribe not. only one of their “ complaints, but every one of them.” “ Yet,” continues he, “I find my heart en- ‘“‘ gaged towards you, and under such impres- “sions upon my mind, I must inform you that do, as in the presence of the Lord God “ Almighty, accept of your invitation. If it “is his pleasure to bring me to abide with “you, I trust he will also be with me, and in
THE REV. W. MOORHOUSE. 9
*“some degree proportion my strength ade- ** quate to the great work; and let every one “ of you who desires that either I, or any other ‘instrument, should be blessed unto you, re- Paul’s request, ‘Brethren, pray “for us.’ ”
About twelve years after this comfortable settlement, Mr. M. was severely tried by an ex- tensive and deadly schism in his church, oc- casioned by erroneous sentiment, which threat- ened to spread around the flourishing cause waste and desolation. Several leading mem- bers were cut off in a short time, for openly denying the Deity of Christ, and other-essen- tial truths of Christianity. Mr. M.’s powers were then summoned to defend, publicly, and privately, the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, with continued energy ; and though it does not appear that any of those expelled were ever re- stored, those who remained derived great ad- vantages from the schism, by being, in an ex- traordinary manner, established in “the faith once delivered to the saints.” This is one in- stance where, by sustaining a violent, tempo- rary attack, “the cause of God and truth” finally gains a lasting victory; as Mr. M. never had afterwards a similar disturbance.
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Had his natural talents received a learned education, they would probably have shone with lustre; for his perceptions were remark- ably quick, keen, and lively; his imagination yery active ; his judgment clear, solid, and firm —not to be shaken with trifles, or dazzled by specious appearances. But seminaries of learn- ing to train young men for the Dissenting ministry were then scarcely established, and all his attainments resulted from diligent self- application, aided by occasional instructions from the Rey. Titus Knight, of Halifax, his bo- som friend, who, though likewise self-taught, well understood the original languages of the Scriptures, and was a man of strong genius. The old Yorkshire Academy, commenced by the benevolence of W. Fuller, Esq., and ether gentlemen of London, had indeed existed some years under the care of The Rev. J. Scott ; but probably its wise regulations precluded the admission of young men, who, like Mr. M., were previously married. Amidst all these disadvantages, serving greatly to stimulate his uncommon exertions, he acquired a taste for science, and possessed no despicable share of general knowledge, which often served him to illustrate Divine truth in an admirable manner.
THE REY. W. MOORHOUSE. il
A question may be admitted, whether an academical education would have rendered Mr. M., as an individual, a more useful minis- ter in his own sphere ; yet feeling the want of it by experience, he exerted himself to the utmost that others might enjoy it, and was one of the first patrons of the Dissenting College at Masbro’, near Rotherham, now under the watchful and efficient care of the Rev. Messrs. Bennett and Smith. From a paper in his own writing, he appears to have been deputed to draw a plan when that important institution was first formed ;—a plan dictated by good sense, sound religion, and judicious discrimi- nation. At its anniversaries and committee- meetings, he frequently addressed the students, and gave that advice which did equal honour to his head, and his heart.
Between Mr. M. and Mr. Venn existed a most affectionate intercourse, as appears from the following epistle, written when the former was newly settled at Huddersfield, and the lat- ter had removed to Yelling. This document de- serves rescuing from oblivion, as exhibiting, by a noble instance of Christian liberality, not very common in our day, the kindness of a
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father anxious for the welfare of a son in the gospel of Christ ;—abounding with most im- portant counsel to ministers in general, and highly calculated to silence the wnmerited out- © ery against Calvinism as an illiberal and licen- tious system. Doubtless, Mr. Venn’s Calvin- ism was derived from the venerable articles of the Church of England ;—Mr. M. thought much as Mr. V.; and, however high, or low, the latter might be in doctrine, he wrote that valuable practical treatise “< The Complete Duty of Man.”
“¢ Yelling, September 26th, 1772. ‘DEAR SIR,
“It gives me great pleasure to hear you express your sense of your own inability for your present office and sta- tion ; for God only imparts his Spirit to the humble,—and when, with the prophet, we cry out, ‘1 am a child and can- not speak,’— when we feel the truth of our case, our prayer will come up before the Lord, and he will have the glary of
his own gifts.”
“The work of a minister requires much labour, much reading, much prayer, and much of the Spirit which was in Christ ;—much labour in preaching, in exhorting, in improv- ing, after we have watched for, and obtained opportunities of introducing profitable discourse ;—much reading of the
word of God, and some of the most excellent writers, to
THE REV. W. MOORHOUSE. 13
whom he gave heavenly wisdom. For by this means are communicated to us new views, and new discoveries of a deeper and more spiritual nature, though the truths are the very same;—and we shall not grow stale and unedifying to our people, by repeating the same doctrine in almost the same words ; but be led to treat of a variety of subjects, all having the same tendency to make sin appear an infinite evil, —to make Christ appear an infinite benefactor,—to engage
the heart actively for him without any selfish reserve.
“Our office requires much prayer in secret ;—because the word of God, and much less the works of his servants, will be of little service to us, unless we constantly, not only before we read, but in reading, present ourselves before the Lord as blind Bartimeus, earnestly begging for more of that eye-salve, that Divine unction which teaches us all things. And after such solemn and heartfelt exercises, we shall come into the pulpit as Moses did from the mount, and the people will see something of a glory put upon us,—and feel from the fulness of our matter, the liberty of our speech, the clear- ness of our ideas, and the authority with which we deliver ourselves, that a prophet of the Lord is among them. And after all this, we have need of patience ;—many will be of a carping temper, many self-conceited and head-strong; lay- ing stress upon points, to say the most, ‘ of doubtful dispu- tation ;’— many will be ready to divide, and many leave us, for that very thing which the Lord himself enables us to do for his sake, I mean delivering the truth without the least
respect of persons.
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«Iam, you know, a Calvinist by principle, as well as yourself, and I rejoice to hear you preach doctrines practi- cally and experimentally. In this way only the Lord will bless you. Many Calvinists are most unscriptural in their manner of proposing their doctrines, and therefore without success in their work. God frowns upon their way of hand- ling his own truth ;—a way which exposes it to the world,
and makes it suit the taste of a hypocrite.
“Tt is with concern for that poor, aged man, Mr. Wes- ley, that I hear of his proceedings at Huddersfield. I would advise you never to speak against him, or the Methodists ; only speak against their errors, without mentioning any names. For I have often grieved to have much precious time spent in exposing their errors in private company, by name, when all present were free from them. Better, much better, is it to establish the truth by strong proofs from Holy Writ, and leave it to Mr. W. or the Baptists, to make their pulpits places to rail in. God’s name be praised, that your Church is in a flourishing condition : it has my daily prayers. Re- member us also at the throne of grace. I shall be very glad to hear from you, as my successor to a people whom I shall always love, and hope to meet one day in glory. From your
affectionate fellow-labourer in the gospel,
“ H. VENN.”
Evidently influenced by such powerful counsel, Mr. M. laboured diligently in his station, and ‘‘ much people was added unto
THE REV. W. MOORHOUSE. 15
the Lord.” Resulting from deep, and labori- ous thought, his opinions as a Calvinist, and as a Dissenter from all established, religions, were not hastily taken up ;—of course, they were not hastily to be abandoned ; and no one more easily, or more visibly, led a con- gregation to imbibe, from sound conviction, independently of ‘all improper influence, those sentiments which were equi-distant from un- charitable feeling, Pharisaical pride, and Anti- nomian licentiousness. On the awful doctrine of the Trinity, he very rarely ventured to treat after the schism:in his Church, when it was shamefully abused, and misrepresented ; and he preferred abiding by the mere words of Scripture, without speaking of“ persons,” modes of subsistence,” or ‘‘ eternal genera- tion ;” all which expressions he disliked, as often furnishing subjects of ridicule for cor- rupt minds, and matter of distressing per- plexity to many who are honestly searching after truth. Without defending, or imbibing all the doctrines of Calvin, (who would un- dertake this?) he advanced his own sentiments in a full, faithful, and fearless manner ;—un- willing to explain away, to disguise, or to soften down his principles to the various pre- B
16 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF ‘
judices of men; as if they had contained a system of which Christians should be ashamed, because dishonourable to the character of.JE- HOVAH. He wished the system, so far as he held it, to stand or fall by its own merits ; nor did he at all fear any consequences fairly re- sulting from it ;--knowing that truth, so far from suffering by the severest scrutiny, would shine with greater brillianey, “‘as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”
As a Christian professor, Mr. M. appeared to high advantage. His convictions of sin were early, and powerful; resulting from en- lightened views of the law and attributes of God ;—his knowledge of the human heart, es- pecially of -his own, was drawn from deep, personal experience, and an intuitive pene- tration into the character and actions of men ; his devotion was simple, sincere, humble, and regular. Having seen and’ felt much of the fickleness and deceit of man, he always sus- pected sudden, extraordinary, and flaming pro- fessions of superior holiness in religion, and would say of himself,—“ I think I am one of the greatest sinners, and my labours seem very unprofitable.” His close friendships were few,
THE REY. W. MOORHOUSE. 17
and select; but, on his part, inviolably faith- ful, which preserved him from numberless difficulties such was ‘his character for integrity, that several wealthy, benevolent in- dividuals made him ‘their almoner at discre- tion ; thus distributing large sums. Accord- ing to his circumstances, his own charity was also active, for he had a feeling heart; and one instance, among many, is well known, of his taking the entire charge of an orphan boy, about three or four years old, left by The Rev. S. Midgley, a Dissenting Minister, near Peni- stone, Yorkshire ; nor did his' own contribu- tions, out of a very limited income, and his solicitations for the aid of others, cease, till the youth was comfortably settled in the world. Thus, in various ways, he ‘delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him, and caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.”
The ever-busy tongue of slander, anxious to scatter upon him the “ poison of asps,” once ventured (what, and where, will it not venture ?) seriously to attack Mr. M.’s moral character ; but was soon glad to retire, silen- ced, ashamed, and confounded ; nor did she B2
i8 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF
afterwards dare to raise her voice against him. Among his own people, such were his veracity and punctuality, that it became a proverb,— “If Mr. M. promise, we have him safe ;” and, even in matters of minor importance, he felt exceedingly displeased to see so many care- less of their word and engagements.
Although, from having very slight acquaint- ance with the original languages of Scripture, he made no pretensions to learned criticism ; he was distinguished as a regular pulpit-ex- positor, by his ingenuity in discerning the most striking peculiarities of a verse, or chap- ter, and by a manner of elucidation entirely his own, so as to make those subjects greatly edifying, which numbers pass over as unin- teresting. This much delighted general hear- ers, especially his constant ones, and the learned critic might occasionally hear what would otherwise escape him. Very unlike many who have not been liberally educated, he highly valued Biblical criticism when man- aged with suitable caution; and this led him professedly to encourage seminaries of religi- ous, evangelical learning, as necessary, and effectual barriers against the boasted, literary
THE REV. W. MOORHOUSE. 19
champions of that school, whose disciples deny the Deity of Christ, and would gratify human depravity, by sapping the foundations of’ holi- ness, and of virtue.
As a minister, Mr. M. was highly esteemed, and venerated by his brethren, who treated him with uncommon respect, and deference as a father in Israel. He drew up a plan for their monthly associations ;—was their’ per- petual secretary, and became, by punctual at- tendance, the life and soul of their meet- ings. These associations, where the members preached in each other’s pulpits in rotation, often on given subjects, were highly beneficial to the interests of religion ;—promoting that acquaintance, harmony, and spirit among con- gregations, churches, elders, and ministers, which produced the happiest consequences, by making the pulse of religious feeling vi- brate round a district.
In preaching, Mr. M. had, like most others, his favourite themes, though he declared, to the best of his knowledge, “ the whole coun- sel of God.” He was much at home on the great doctrines of human depravity, redemp- .B3
20 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF
tion by the cross of Christ, the sovereignty and justice of God, christian experience in all its varieties, and the moral obligation of man ; none more fully exhibited the law as a means of convincing the unawakened, and as a rule of life to believers ; and if ever he was severe, it was when exposing infidelity and vice. He admired the counsel of his friend Mr. Thorpe, of Masbro’, to ‘“‘ preach the doctrines practi- eally, and practical subjeets doctrinally.” To illuminate the understanding, and to convince the judgment, so as to make a way to the heart, was his constant aim; and, having no notion of a religion without spiritual know- ledge, he wished for no eaciiement but the agency of the Spirit, by the power of truth.
In the pulpit, his manner was remarkably plain, yet dignified ;—cool without dulness ; simple, grave, and distinct ;—of course, im- pressive, so as to gain and keep up a lively attention. Having a strong aversion to all the unnatural affectations of false eloquence, and knowing himself not to possess the exterior attractions of oratory, he had the wisdom never to assume them ; and, by his own natu- ral manner, rose aboye them. His self- pos-
THE REY. W. MOORHOUSE. 21
session, and calm deliberation were uncom- mon; because resulting not so much from any constitutional courage, or the constant habit of preaching, as from his deep devotion, and close intercourse with Heaven ;—these made his heart to feel, and “ his face to shine.” All his sermons were formed by some visible plan, exhibiting, throughout, the clearest method, and he was partial to naming his divisions and sub-divisions, as first, second, third, &e.; nor eould he much relish a discourse, however full of good things, in which he could not see the preacher’s aim. Though constantly using short pulpit-notes, his sermons were very far from the uncouth appearance of skeletons ; much less did they resemble a wood, or bar- ren heath, where the anxious traveller is “in wandering mazes lost.” His prayers and sermons were wonderfully free from repedi- tion of phrases, ideas, and even of words ; —this invaluable secret made his hearers long attentive without weariness, and secured an endless variety in his public exercises.
As a pastor, Mr. M. looked diligently to the state of his flock, going frequently ‘“ from house to house” tea¢hing, exhorting, or re-
22 MEMOIR OF THE. LIFE OF
buking, as circumstances required, without re- spect of persons, station, or rank. The same impartiality likewise appeared in his Church discipline. In the company of strangers, he was from nature, and from prudence, strongly guarded by reserve; yet in his pastoral visits, of which the poor had a large share, and in his social circle, no one was more prudently open and communicative ; more sincere and faithful. No levities ever lessened his cha- racter ; for his conversation was “ with all gravity, seasoned with salt.” He was some- times facetious, both in public, and in private, and possessed a talent of repartee, without ever exhibiting as a droll, or wounding as a cynic. His temper was, indeed, naturally ir- ritable, but so managed, and controlled by Divine grace, as to be no real hinderance ;— in all probability, it thus became one cause of his superiority. He greatly promoted social prayer-meetings, in which also the Scriptures were read, and briefly expounded in turn by the principal attendants; these proved effec- tual to “ build the walls of Jerusalem ;” espe- cially when he was able, as he often did, to sanction them by his presence. He was also one of the first friends in Yorkshire to “The
THE REV. W. MOORHOUSR. 23
London Missionary Society ;” and after preach- ing in his own pulpit, without any other exer- tion to attract an audience than verbally an- nouncing his design, and in a congregation not exceeding his usual numbers, his first col- lection amounted to One Hundred Pounds.
As an author, Mr. M. was not wholly un- known, nor much distinguished. In 1778, appeared his sermon entitled, ‘ Faith in God, and good works connected ;” preached at the annual meeting of ministers at Heeckmondwike, Yorkshire. It is remarkable for its sound practical tendency, but chiefly for some senti- ments about—What is faith ? which question was, just then, warmly and extensively agi- tated. As greatly obscuring and perplexing this subject, he disliked all personifications of it, as ascribing to faith,—hands, eyes, ears, and feet; also saying that faith sees, hears, sits, walks, runs, fights, and flies. He consi- dered it as more intelligible and scriptural to say, that man, through the assistance of the Holy Ghost, performs these spiritual actions, by that faith which Mr. M. defines as “nothing more or less in itself, than an unfeigned assent of the mind to a testimony, or, in Scripture
24 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF
style, a belief of the truth as it is in Jesus.” He could not exhort his hearers promiscu- ously, to suppose, “that believing in Christ is a persuasion that he died for them, that he gave himself for them, that he loves them freely, and hath forgiven their sins ;’—for as our evidences of acceptance with God are liable, from many causes, to become wavering, ob- secure, and even lost ;—a person might, on such a supposition, be a believer and an un- believer in the same day, or the same hour ; —nay, on this principle, a hypocrite may be ealled a real believer in Christ, while the doubt- ing, and sometimes desponding saint, must be numbered with unbelievers !
In 1792, he printed a small pamphlet, “The Refutation Refuted ;’ being a defence of the Deity of Christ against Mr. Smart’s professed ‘“ Refutation” of some sentiments advanced by Mr. Elliott, a Methodist preacher. The whole impression of Mr. M.’s tract, which dis- plays great fairness, and sound argument, was sold in a few days. After this, he never ap- ' peared as an author, except in a sermon preached in May, 1797, before the London Missionary Society.
THE REV. W. MOORHOUSE. 25
Notwithstanding his long and undeviating habits of the strictest temperance and regu- larity, Mr. M., several years before his death, was grievously afflicted with a most excru- ciating disease, which rendered the catheter often necessary, and was also attended with excessive nervous debility. Many times was he rescued apparently from the grave, by the watchful care of his affectionate friend, R. Houghton, Esq., whose medical skill was ex- ceeded only by his stedfast religion. Long before the “appointed time” arrived, Mr. M. frequently summoned his children from a dis- tance, ‘to see him die ;” and, in such interest- ing circumstances, gave that advice which should never be forgotten. At one time, to his son in the ministry, he said,—‘“‘I have been searching for my evidences, and have found it hard work.” He then expressed how he had been favoured with this happy disco- very, to his unspeakable satisfaction and com- fort; and:-generally, at parting, (often think- ing it would be the last time) gave his son a solemn charge, to remember the awful respon- sibility of the ministerial office ; emphatically adding,—“ It is a great work.” In this good man’s chamber of suffering, his son found
26 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF
scraps of paper, op which he had written such ejaculations as “Qh! Lord, let me be af- flicted, but in mercy, — Patience !—Ged be
mereiful to me a sinner.”
When sufficiently recovered, to have, as’ he said, new lease granted, though a short one;” he filled his office with additional in- terest, amidst visible infirmities, and testified his strong regard to an affectionate people, from whom he had been twice invited, with very tempting offers, to remove; but increas- ing debility soon rendering assistance neces- sary, The Rev. B. (now Dr.) Boothroyd be- eame his colleague, whose long previous ac- quaintance and esteem, made the union greatly to their mutual satisfaction. After enjoying, for several years, much comfort in this con- nexion; his infirmities were such, that, in a letter dated August 29th, 1822, he finally re- signed his charge, with the deepest regret, which his people returned in a manner worthy of themselves.
At Midsummer, 1823, he rapidly sunk un- der his disease ; and, in July, a most violent attack summoned him to the grave. During
THE REV, W. MOORHOUSE. 27
his last few months, his mind was wholly ab- sorbed in spiritual objects, and a preparation for Heaven ; for after his resignation, he con- sidered himself as having little else to do but to die. To familiarize this awful subject, he would often survey himself when lying down in bed, to see how much, or rather how little space, he should occupy in his grave. To one who, about this period, inquired after his health, his answer was,—
<< Great God! I own thy sentence just, And nature must decay.”
In conversing with his numerous and anx- ious visitors, of which the young were a very great proportion, he would frequently dwell on Christ’s merciful intercession, as extending to all his followers ;—quoting the “ Neither pray I for these alone, but for dhem ‘also which shall believe on me through their “‘ word ;”—adding, ‘“ Lam sure I have believed “their word.” He would often say,—‘“I have “ nothing of my own to rest upon; nothing “to recommend me to God;—I am a poor “ sinner of myself,—no goodness in me,— ‘‘ Christ and his cross.”, A friend was con- versing with him on believers walking some- Cc
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times in darkness ;—‘‘ But,” said he, “in the ** darkest, and most discouraging hour, [ ven- ** ture my soul and eternal interest into the “hands of Christ, with, at least, a supporting “and encouraging hope ;’—“ for I know in “whom I have believed, and am persuaded “that he is able to keep that which I have “committed unto him against that day.” At another time, when nearer his final home, and speaking of the glories of Heaven, which he expected shortly to realize, one said to him,— “You think too much about another world ; ‘** and talk a little about this life ;’— he replied, “‘Oh! but I am going there; and, ““ whether I talk abuut it or not, I must go, ‘for Iam fast hastening to an unseen world; “‘ the outward man is fast decaying, and it will be dust to dust.” Ue then very feel- ingly added, with his eyes devoutly raised, exhibiting an animated countenance in death,— “There is a house not made with hands, “ Eternal, and on high ; « And here my spirit waiting stands, “Till God shall bid it fly.” Yo those watching with him, he exclaimed, —“T must still say, God be merciful to mea sinner ;”—and, when in agony, lifting up
THE REY. W. MOORHOUSE. 29
his hand, he repeated,—* through much tri- “ bulation,— through much,— much,— much,” —being unable to proceed. Shortly after, — «Lord! hear my prayer,—forgive my sins,— “save my soul.” Again, as if violently as- saulted by the enemy of souls,—‘ I have lived “by faith in Christ, and by faith in Christ I will die ;’— adding soon after, —‘“‘ “through him that loved us.” ‘Towards the closing seene, his sufferings became inexpres- sible; powerfully exhibiting in nature’s strug- gle for life or death, what the poet means by— “ Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying, “Oh! the pain, the bliss of dying.”
Early in the morning of July 29th, when Mr. M. was nearly 81, the “ vital spark of ‘‘ heavenly flame,” which had exhibited for several days only a faint, tremulous light,— was gone! Thus lived, and thus died, this excellent man. His interment was attended by a very numerous assembly, who made *‘oreat ‘The funeral service was conducted by The Rev. Messrs. Boothroyd, Aston, Lees, and Josh. Cockin; the last gave an address in the Chapel, and at the grave. On the Sabbath but one following, The Rey. c 2
30 MEMOIR OF THE LIFE, &c.
J. Toothill; of Hopton, preached to a most crowded audience, from Acts xi. 24. “ For “he was a good man, and full of the Holy “Ghost, and of faith; and much people was “ added unto ‘the Lord.”
W. MOORE, PR. HUDDERSFIELD,