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“fell asleep,” on the morning of Sunday, April 9th, in the thirtieth year of his age.
The writer has before him many pleasing testimonies to the consistent and devotedly Christian character of Mr. Botterell, as well as to his character as a Christian Minister. The following, from the Rev. T. Jackson, (which has especial reference to the time he resided with him,) and the Rev. John Smart, who was on very friendly terms with Mr. Botterell, will be sufficient :
“ His religious and moral conduct, so far as I had an opportunity of observing it, was pure and unexceptionable. He always appeared to me also a pattern of diligence in the prosecution of his studies, athirst for knowledge, and anxious to acquire every requisite qualification for the ministry to which he believed himself called of God. In this he was an example to his brother students; and hence his promise of future usefulness was very great and encouraging. The early death of such a man is one of those mysteries of Providence which we ourselves must die to understand.
“ It was my honour to know our late brother Botterell intimately for upwards of four years, during which time I had numerous opportunities of marking and duly appreciating the peculiarities of his personal and official character. His piety was enlightened, reverential, and truly evangelical. His natural abilities were good; and these he had improved by reading and study. His understanding was sound and discriminating, his judgment correct, and his memory retentive. He took nothing upon trust. He examined every subject that came before him for himself. As a student, he was distinguished by his 'ardent thirst for knowledge, the facility with which he obtained it, and the consequent progress which he made in its acquisition. He was diligent, plodding, persevering, and intent upon improving time; as a proof of which it may be observed that he never omitted a lecture during the two years he was in the Institution, and mastered the principles of the Hebrew Grammar between supper and bed-time. His preaching was clear, persuasive, and affectionate; and his appeals to the conscience and the heart forcible. He bestowed great pains on his pulpit-preparations, not offering to God that which had cost him nothing. He generally went from the closet into the pulpit, seeking by earnest prayer God's blessing upon himself and those who heard him. As his disposition was lively, he was sometimes in danger from levity, and perhaps he did not always avoid it ; but he lamented it, and humbled himself before God. Yet he was always serious and devout when he drew nigh to God, whether in the closet, the family, or the sanctuary. He regretted during his affliction, that he had not risen earlier, (though he was by no means a late riser,) and spent more of his time with God in his own closet ; and resolved, that if his life were spared, he would be much at home, and be much with God,' as Baxter advises. Those who knew him well do not doubt, that, had it pleased God to spare his life, he would have risen to great respectability in the church of Christ. But the Master called for his servant, and he died,-- died into a better life,'—to live for ever with Him who is the resurrection and the life.'
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 17. DIED, January 7th, 1845, at Skipton, in his twenty-first year, Mr. Richard Lockwood. These “ Sketches” frequently contain the records of the pilgrimage and happy departure of aged and experienced Christians, who during a long period fought the fight, kept the faith, and at last finished their course with joy. The present notice refers to one who in the prime of life was led to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and, after a short warfare,
“ Won the crown for which he vied,
Not of merit, but of grace.” He was favoured with parents who taught him “ the good and the right way." He enjoyed the advantages of a classical education at the Grammar-school in his native town, and gave promising indications of superior talent. His earlier life, though distinguished by many interesting features, was not remarkable for any decidedly religious impressions until the completion of his sixteenth year, when he was enabled to choose the good part. A short time previously he had engaged with a respectable and pious firm at Halifax for improvement in business; and the affectionate attention and faithful conversation of a devoted assistant, led, through the grace of “the Lord the Spirit,” to that contrition of heart which is the antecedent of all scriptural conversion. He mourned deeply over his sinfulness and guilt, and, both from a conviction of duty and a desire of benefit, embraced the opportunity of church-fellowship, by becoming a member of the class of which his uncle was the Leader. He sought the Lord earnestly, with many tears as well as with much prayer. One night his distress was greater than usual. He felt the remembrance of sin to be grievous, and the burden intolerable. He retired early, not to take rest, but to pour out his heart before God, and continued, like Jacob, wrestling with the Angel of the Covenant. It was at the “solemn midnight hour” that he was enabled to receive Cbrist Jesus the Lord as his Saviour ; and He who giveth “songs in the night,” attuned his heart to strains of triumphant joy and exulting gratitude and praise.
The change in his feelings was clear, decisive, and permanent. He never spoke of it subsequently in doubtful terms, and it is believed never lost the blessing of conscious pardon which he then received. Nor was the change in his character less decided, though in some respects, from those moral habits in which he had been trained, less striking. His morality became more evangelical and spiritual, and his deportment was “as becometh the Gospel of Christ.” Though somewhat reserved in his disposition, to his friends he was open and communicative, especially on religious subjects; and though his career was brief, “knowledge and vital picty” were not only “united ” in him, but mutually fed and sustained each other. To the improvement of his mind he was conscientiously attentive. He was an early riser, a diligent student, and carefully observant of the proper rules for self-culture. He was zealous in his Saviour's cause, and embraced every prudent opportunity of doing good. He assisted his ClassLeader in visiting the sick and the absentees. In the Sabbath-school and other departments of labour he engaged with acceptance and success. As a correspondent he excelled. His letters were often as beautiful as they were intelligent, and always pervaded by a tone of ardent and enlightened piety. Those in the church whose judgments were most deserving of respect, and who knew him well, believed that he was designed to occupy a more responsible and extended sphere of labour and usefulness. He himself experienced an increasing desire to call sinners to repentance, and was only prevented by growing indisposition from offering himself for the first steps of that most important of all employments. It was in his heart; but the sacrifice was not in that form required.
In the course of 1843 the state of his health was such, that he returned to his native place, in the hope that comparative rest, and the affectionate attentions of his parents, might remove the unfavourable symptoms which had begun to appear. But these hopes were not realized. The insidious foe advanced by slow, and, for a time, almost imperceptible, steps, and it was ultimately seen that their progress was decided; and after eighteen months of protracted suffering, he exchanged mortality for life. His Christian graces were severely tested in the furnace; but he lived in the solemn, yet joyful, anticipation of approaching eternity. His mind was stayed upon God, and kept in perfect peace. In a note written in this period of alternation between life and death, he says, “I cannot now expect to be freed from suffering till mortality is swallowed up of life. How long or how soon this will be, I cannot tell. It may be some months hence : it may be near, and even sudden. I do not write this with feelings of regret that my race on carth will so quickly close. If by raising my hand I could alter the appointment of God, I would not do it. My hope of heaven, though not ecstatic, is glorious. I often long to join those who have gone before.” A short time before his decease, when his hand was tremulous through weakness, he wrote a brief letter, replete with affection, and expressive of an unshaken and full confidence in the atonement of his Saviour. “My poor bark,” he says, “is within sight of shore, and I trust soon to enter the haven of eternal rest.” When life was almost expiring, in answer to a question relating to the state of his mind, he was just able to articulate, “ Happy in God: no fear, no doubt!” Ile had long been familiar with death ; and while awaiting the summons to pass the river by the brink of which he was staying, the prospects of the “better, that is, the heavenly, country" both sustained and gladdened him in a feebleness which itself had become painful. And the final passage was both easy and short. Frequent hemorrhages had warned him of the probable manner of his departure. And so it was. While reclining in the arms of his father, a copious discharge at once terminated his sufferings, and removed him to his eternal rest.
John P. LOCKWOOD.
18. Died, February 15th, aged forty-two, at Ravenhead, in the St. Helen's and Prescot Circuit, Mr. James Lomax. In his earlier life, he appears to have shunned all loose companions, though only from a sense of propriety ; for he was quite regardless of the interests of his immortal soul. He married when about twenty years of age, and went to reside at Nutgrove, near the chapel erected by the late Jonas Nuttall, Esq., and since then enlarged by his widow, the whole being secured to the Wesleyan Connexion, free of expense. Mr. Lomax was induced occasionally to attend ; and, gradually, his mind became enlightened on the all-important concerns of eternity, though he did not at once yield to the impressions which were made. His attendance, however, became regular ; and about seven years after his marriage, his trifling with the offers of mercy in the ministry of the word was brought to an end by serious affliction. The typhus fever was then raging in the neighbourhood; and he had it so violently, that for several weeks his life was in great danger. His conscience was now awakened. He saw the guilt of his past behaviour, prayed earnestly to God, and made many resolutions of amendment, should his life be spared. It was spared ; but for some time he procrastipated as before. During the latter part of the year 1831, under a sermon preached by the Rev. George Robinson, he was deeply and most painfully convinced of sin. The text was, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all bis benefits toward me?” He called to mind the goodness of God, and his own unthankfulness, his broken vows, and unperformed resolutions. He felt that he was a guilty and helldeserving sinner, and saw the necessity, not so much of resolving to turn to God, as of actually turning to him without delay, and fleeing for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before him. He instantly joined the society; and in the careful use of all the means of grace, for several weeks he sought the pardoning mercy of God. One evening, after a prayer-meeting, while conversing with a friend on spiritual subjects, he had such an overpowering conviction of his own guilt and helplessness, and of the power and willingness of God to save him, that he instantly left the room, and walked out of the house, that he might pour out his heart before the throne of grace. While thus earnestly praying, the load fell off, and he felt that he was enabled to believe to the saving of his soul; and he returned to the house rejoicing in a clear sense of forgiveness.
From this time he regarded himself as eminently belonging to God. Saved bimself, all his time and talents, his money and his influence, were devoted, as he had opportunity, to the promotion of the salvation of others. He was especially drawn to the Sunday-school at Nutgrove, as the sphere in which his personal labours were most likely to be successful. His talents appeared to be remarkably adapted to this important service. Ultimately he became the Superintendent of the school; and his valuable and useful labours in it will long be remembered. In the course of time he was called to fill other offices in connexion with Methodism; and he discharged the duties thus devolving on him with much zeal and fidelity. Nor did he by any means, through his more public labours, neglect the private and social duties of life. To his family he carefully attended, seeking affectionately to promote the spiritual and temporal interests of all its members. And by his acts of personal and private kindness, as well as by his influence with his employers, secured by his trustworthiness, he wiped away the tear from the eye of many a widow, and preserved many an orphan from ruin and want. He thus seemed likely to be increasingly useful in the place where his lot had been cast. But the ways of God are past finding out. Mrs. Lomax was in a very delicate state of health ; and he could not help adverting to the probability of his being left, a sorrowing widower, with the charge of a young family. At class, in the latter end of January, 1815, he referred very feelingly to the sudden death of Miss Scholes, sister to the Rev. J. Scholes, then stationed in the Circuit ; and prayed earnestly, both for himself and the other members of the class, that they might be fully prepared to die, whenever it should please God to call them. All present were deeply affected ; and separated, commending each other to the merciful protection of their heavenly Father.
This was the last religious service he ever attended. The next day it appeared that he had taken a severe cold, which produced a painful swelling in the glands of the neck ; but though he suffered much, no unfavourable result was anticipated. His mind, however, seemed generally absorbed in spiritual contemplation. At one time, when the pain was more severe than usual, he said, “ This is dreadful. But what is the pain of lost spirits, shut up in the bottomless pit ? ” To a friend, at another time, he said, “I am quite happy in God. I have no will of my own. The will of the Lord be done!” He added, “I am ready to depart, and be with Christ, which is far better.” But still, he appeared to have no apprehension that his end was near. The night before he died, he retired to rest at an early hour, without any appearance of being worse than usual ; only he requested his medical attendant to lance his throat, hoping it might afford him some relief. The propriety of doing it just then was doubted, and some medicine was given to assist in procuring sleep. But before the light of the morning came, he suddenly and quietly breathed his last. His wife, whose death before his own he had anticipated with such melancholy feelings, survived him only a few months. She died in the Lord in the course of the following September.