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TO THE READER. A SENTENCE or two will suffice to connect the ninety-fifth volume of the “Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine" with its immediate predecessor. Another Index permits the labours of the past year to be looked at as a whole. The review is chiefly of interest to the Editor. Hearty thanks, however, are due, after devout recognition made of “the good hand of God” upon the work, to the numerous contributors to whose Christian zeal, public spirit, and courtesy, the readers of this professedly religious and denominational Magazine are from month to month indebted. Among these are included divines, scholars, and litterateurs, who are not second, in their respective walks, to any whom the Connexion furnishes. In their productions, Christian doctrine is effectively, yet reverently handled, liberal scholarship is devoted to its legitimate purposes, and topics of general interest are treated in the tone in which thoughtful readers have a claim to be addressed. Such services were never so important as now; the circumstances which heighten their value are patent to all who judge of current literature by the standard of a pure taste and the demands of practical Christianity. A grateful acknowledgment is all that can here be accorded to them; adequate rewards belong to the distant-not uncertain-future; are among the things which have their origin indeed in this life, but which
And fade not." The volume now commenced will be worthy, it is hoped, of & place by the side of those which have gone before it. The same objects will be aimed at, the same principles asserted, illustrated, and defended. Unity of purpose, however, does not preclude variety of method; and the assistance of all who are striving for the universal realization of the “one hope of our calling" will ever be welcome.
London ; December 2d, 1871.
VOL. XVIII.- FIFTH SERIES.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. SAMUEL TINDALL:
BY HIS SON, THE REV. EDWIN H. TINDALL.
It was a quiet and beautiful morning in July, 1868, when my father calmly fell asleep in Christ. He had been slowly drooping for many weeks, and so was aware of the certain approach of death: but for him death had no terrors. Firm and triumphant, he waited patiently for the final summons. The room where he suffered was the only cheerful one in that house of mourning. And those who were privileged to enter it, will never forget how near heaven they appeared to find themselves, nor how completely victorious over the last enemy my father was enabled by the grace of God to become. The life by which this eminently glorious death was preceded is not without its instruction and encouragement.
SAMUEL TINDALL was born at Lincoln, January 20th, 1801. This ancient city was not then such a powerful centre of Vethodist influence as it now is. Together with Sleaford, it formed part of the Gainsborough Circuit. The members in the Society numbered considerably less than one-fifth of the present aggregate found in the three Circuits of which the places just named are the heads; whilst the proportion of mere attendants at the Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel was probably much smaller still. It is accordingly no matter of surprise that my father's parents were professedly members of the Established Church ; and it is to be feared that, though strictly moral, they were not, at this period, acquainted with the importance of personal religion. The kind of atmosphere, therefore, in which my father spent his childhood and youth may be readily imagined. He was not favourably circumstanced for a work of grace in the soul to begin and develop itself: but that such a work was experienced, and with what result, shall be stated in his own words. The account is taken from a manuscript note-book containing the circumstances of his conversion aud sundry definitions of doctrines, evidently prepared with a view to his examination when seeking admission as a candidate for the ministry.
“I have been the subject," he writes, “ of Divine impressions from an early age. When I was but very young, I recollect the Spirit of God strove powerfully with me and convinced me of sin. The conviction remained for a considerable time; and under it I have frequently been led to retire, and when no eye but the broad eye of heaven beheld me, have been constrained to engage in prayer to God, and to entreat the Divine forgiveness. I make no doubt that had I known any one to whom I could have opened my mind, I should at that time have been savingly converted to God. But as I had no one to teach me “the way of God more perfectly,' and was surrounded by those who had no regard for religion, I almost imperceptibly drank into their spirit, and conviction gradually died away. I continued in open rebellion against God for some years. At length, however, it pleased God by His special Providence to place me under the care of one who manifested a great concern for my salvation. By his instrumentality I was again convinced of the heinous nature of sin. The eyes of my understanding were enlightened. I saw sin to be * exceeding sinful,' and sensibly felt the wretchedness of my condition. I strove earnestly to soothe the clamour of my conscience by a regular attendance on the outward duties of religion. This, however, only tended to increase my distress. I prayed earnestly, and diligently read the Scriptures, but found no peace either day or night. I was invited to a class, which I regularly attended from that time. I remained in this state a few weeks. One Sabbath evening, after the preaching, I attended a prayer-meeting, much cast down with a sense of my sin, when it pleased God to speak peace to my troubled heart. One of the friends gave out the lines,
Prisoners of hope, lift up your heads !
The day of liberty draws near,' etc.
Blessed be God, I felt Jesus had to His temple come :' here my chains fell off, my heart was free!' I exchanged the spirit of bondage' for the Spirit of adoption,' and knew by the direct witness of the Spirit that I was a child of God.”
This sound and clear conversion took place in April, 1817: the precise day is not known, but the late Rev. Daniel Isaac was the preacher to whose instrumentality my father attributed his second conviction. The effect was both conspicuous and lasting. Rebuffs did not chill his ardour, or shake his faith ; but engaging heartily in the service of God, he gained spiritual strength and courage. The delightful associations of many of these early means of grace, especially the Sunday morning prayer-meetings, were recalled by him with pleasure in after years.
At this early period my father exercised great influence over his younger brothers and sisters, an influence which was almost parental in its character; whilst the love, respect, and confidence entertained by them for their eldest brother, were so entire that he became their trusted adviser and friend in all their difficulties. Towards former companions he maintained a firm demeanour. The pleasures he would formerly have revelled in, had lost their enchantment; and when asked if he would go with such comrades as he had gone with heretofore, he would unhesita tingly reply, “Yes, if they would go with him, but not otherwise.” That trials were met with, and enmities experienced, probably from cast-off and slighted associates, he acknowledges in the note-book already quoted from; but no particulars are given. He was not accustomed at any period of life to magnify or parade the difficulties with which he had to contend.
My father's early educational advantages were not great; but that they were used with at least average diligence is beyond doubt. When “God shined into his heart to give light,” he quickly perceived the importance of knowledge; all available means of self-improvement were eagerly embraced, and were made subservient to the attainment of “the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." These earnest strivings, zeal in Christian work, as well as a general fitness and promise of usefulness, soon marked him out for the Church's higher spheres of hallowed toil. He was received on trial as a local preacher in November, 1822 ; and, after six months' probation, took his first “full plan" in the following May. Twelve months later, his brother John was similarly received ; which was no small gratification to him. At this period the late Rev. T. Galland, M.A., rendered valuable help in directing my father's reading and study.
The year 1825 saw Samuel Tindall admitted as a preacher on trial for the itinerancy. Five of the candidates of that year, the Revs. Willson Brailsford, Jonathan Cadman, Charles Haydon, William Hurt, and John Kirk (A), are still engaged in the full work of the ministry. Others, like the Rev. James Loutit and Dr. Waddy, have passed into comparative retirement, to spend a quiet and peaceful eventide; whilst the rest, among whom we find the names of R. Spence Hardy, G. B. Macdonald, John M.Lean, and Joseph T. Milner, honoured and able men in their day, have passed to the enjoyment of a higher and holier life. This reference will suffice to show that, although my father's term of service reached exactly forty-three years, it has been exceeded by not a few, and equalled by others, of those who received ordination with him at the Sheffield Conference of 1829.
Alston, Preston, Knaresborough, Haslingden, Gateshead, and Stafford, were the Circuits in which the first eight years of his ministry were spent. Nothing special distinguished this period of his life. But it is evident from the large number of manuscript sermons bearing the names of these places, and composed during these years, how diligently the scanty opportunities to be found in