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MEMOIR OF THE REV. JOSIAS RANDLE,
BY THE REV. JOHN DEW.
of his age.
The Rev. Josias Randle, the subject of the following memoir, was born of respectable parents in Brunswick county, in the state of Virginia. His parents were members of the Church of England, and were very strict in bringing up their children, according to the rules, and usages of that Church.
It was here that Josias, their fourth son, received those early impressions of piety, and principles of rectitude, which so eminently contributed to form and establish his future character. But as it is, with most other youth, those serious impressions were by him “passed unheeded by" until he had attained to the twentyfirst year
At this time he was living in the state of North Carolina, with his brother-in-law, Josias WRIGHT. It was during his residence here that he was awakened to a deep sense of his lost estate, through the instrumentality of John BALDWIN, and MARK MOORE, who were labouring in that part of the country. While under the influence of a sense of guilt, his usual sprightliness of mind, and gayety of temper, for which he was remarkable, forsook him, and it soon became visible to his friends, though he said but little about it, that he was under very serious concern for the salvation of his soul. He continued some months secretly sighing for redemption in the blood of the Lamb.
In this situation he attended a quarterly meeting which was held at THRELDKILLS meeting house, near Waydesborough, in Salisbury circuit. At this meeting the friend of sinners was pleased to own and bless, in a very signal manner, the labours of his servants. The spirit from on high was poured out upon the congregation, and many fell to the ground under the mighty power of
God, crying “ LORD save or we perish;" while others were filled | with the love of God which passeth understanding. At this meet
ing many precious souls were happily converted to God. It was here, after a severe struggle, that our brother RANDLE first felt his load of sin and guilt removed, and he returned home much comforted. It was not, however, till some time after this, that all his doubts were removed. This took place as follows:-He, in company with his brother-in-law's family, attended preaching in their own neighbourhood; and during the sermon and religious exercises of the day, he was much engaged. After the meeting closed, his friends returned home; but he tarried by the way that he might have an opportunity, without restraint, to pour out the desire of his soul to God. It was here that the LORD broke into his soul in such a powerful manner that he could no longer doubt; but hastened home with eagerness to tell the joyful
news, that his soul was blessed with a sense of pardoning love. From this time he resolved to devote himself without reserve, to the service of God. Accordingly he united himself to the Methodist Church,
in which he lived a faithful and zealous member, and to its doce trine and discipline he was most affectionately attached to the day of his death.
His conversion took place in the latter end of the year 1788. Some time in the course of the next year he was selected by REUBEN Ellis, the presiding elder of the district, to superintend a mission school among the Choctaw tribe of Indians. During his stay here, which was about a year, a class was formed of white emigrants who had settled in the vicinity of the school, and our brother was appointed its leader. While here, the LORD owned his labours in the class: here also he began to exhort sinners to repentance, and not without effect. After the time expired for which he had undertaken the superintendence of the school, he was employed by the presiding elder of the district to labour on one of the circuits, until the ensuing Annual Conference, at which he was received as a probationer in the itinerant connexion. This was in the year 1791. From this conference he was appointed to labour on Broad River Circuit.
Having thus entered the itinerant ministry, he persevered in the diligent discharge of its duties, graduating first to deacon's and then to elders' orders, in the several circuits to which he was appointed, until the year 1795, when he was selected to take charge of a small district, consisting of three or four circuits, in one of which he was appointed to the charge. About the close of the he was married. About the
1798 he located, and settled in Warren county in the state of Georgia, where he remained four years.
In 1802, he re-entered the travelling ministry, and was appointed to little River Circuit, for that and the following year. In 1804, he was appointed to Oconee Circuit, and the same year he attended General Conference. In 1805 and 6, he presided on the Ogechee district; and in 1807 and 8, on the Oconee district. While on this district in 1808, he was elected as a delegate to the General Conference. In all the above stations he was received as a minister of God, discharging the duties of his station with fidelity, zeal, and usefulness. In 1809 he again located, having travelled nearly fifteen years, and filling ten different stations, with great acceptability to the Conference and people with whom he laboured. In 1811 he moved to this country, (Illinois) and settled in the neighbourhood of Edwardsville where he continued to reside till the day of his death.
After his settlement in this neighbourhood he was called to fill several lucrative and important offices in the state ; the duties of which he faithfully and conscientiously discharged.
For two years past, his health had been gradually on the decline. About the last of August, or first of September last he was visited with an attack of billious fever, which brought him very low; and from which he never entirely recovered. About Christ
mas, the weather being fine, he was induced to ride out: and accordingly he paid a visit to his friends in St. Clair county, about twenty miles from home, where he attended a Christmas meeting, at which he spoke for the last time in public. It was remarked, by his friends, that at this meeting, he spoke with more than ordinary zeal and effect. He returned home very unwell, and was soon after confined to his bed. Mistaking, his disease, (which was a violent inflammation of the lungs) for a common cold, no danger was apprehended either by himself or his friends, for several days. The symptoms becoming daily more and more alarming, his friends thought it advisable to take the counsel of a physician. For several days his fate seemed suspended between life and death : but by the skill, and unremitted exertions of his attending physician, he was apparently much relieved, and favourable hopes were entertained of his recovery. But, though the fever had abated considerably, it left him in a state of great weakness. About three o'clock on the morning of Tuesday Jan. 13th, he became sensible of his approaching dissolution. He called his wife and children to his bed side, and taking them by the hand one by one, in a most affectionate manner, gave them his dying benediction and advice, and taking his leave of them, commended them to God. The neighbours were called in to see him die, and being in the neighbourhood myself, and hearing of his sudden change for the worse, I hastened to see him. I found him still alive and in his right mind (which he retained to the last unimpaired) and able to converse. On my asking him how he felt, he said 'I feel ready to die, but it is hard work, I suffer much.' Prayer was proposed; and I gave out and sung,
“ Happy soul thy days are ended
All thy mourning days below,” &c. While we were singing he grasped my hand affectionately, and at that moment he seemed filled with divine consolation, and his soul exulted in the prospect of eternal life. I kneeled by his bedside, and was able to pray in confidence, that the Lord would afford him a safe passage to a better world.
All that day and succeeding night we waited around his bed expecting every hour to be his last; but contrary to all human prospect, he lived through the night. On the morning of Wednesday 14th, he seemed better, and we were again encouraged to indulge the hope that he might' recover. It was not long, however, till we were convinced that our hopes were ill-founded. His pulse grew faint, his extremities became cold; and all the while his sufferings were extreme, and he perfectly sensible of them. Through the course of this day I had been several hours absent from him; and finding me near him in the evening, he beckoned to me to sit down at his bed-side. I did so, when he observed to me, “lest it might slip me, I wish you to preach my Vol. VII.
funeral at Ebenezer meeting house. Tell the congregation, that I have a steady, uniform, blessed expectation, an unshaken confidence, uninterrupted peace; but no boasting-no boasting. He continued, 'I recommend this blessed religion to my Boys: I replied, to us all, brother RANDLE, 'yes, to you all, said he, and I pray God that the blessings of the everlasting gospel may rest upon his church. It lies near my soul.' On my remarking to him that I supposed he did not now regret his having spent so many years of his life in the service of the church; and being too much exhausted to speak further at that time, he made a sign to show how little he had done.
After thus expressing his wish to me, and giving us this satisfactory evidence of the happy state of his mind, he sunk into a sweet tranquility and remained silent through the night, so far as his sufferings would permit. About 9 o'clock in the morning of the 15th, I left him to attend an appointment, and when I went to take my leave of him, I told him if we both lived till evening I should see him again. . Well said he if not let us meethere he paused, and said no more: and I finished his sentence by saying in a better world.'-I returned in the evening and found him dying. After a severe struggle with his last enemy he breathed out his soul into the bosom of his God about 7 o'clock.
On one occasion he said to me 'I suffer much :' but, I said, Í trust you have an unshaken confidence in God. 'Yes' said he, in an ecstacy, 'glory to my Redeemer I have.'-At another time I observed to him, that Jesus Christ was our only hope : 'what,' said he, 'do we want with any other! that is sufficient.' One other circumstance I shall mention, in order to show how perfectly calm and recollected he was to bis last moments. He had made, previous to his last illness, that disposition of his temporal business that he wished; and having given his friends satisfactory evidence that he was prepared to die in peace, he requested all to withdraw from the room except his wife, and one or two attendants; he then requested the curtains of his windows drawn down to exclude the light, which he said was receding already from his vision, and desired not to be spoken to, on any occasion. Thus lived, and thus died, our beloved brother RANDLE, who, no doubt has gone to receive the reward of his labours.
To the Editor of the Methodist Magasine. DEAR SIR,
It is a common practice for the advocates of the impossibility of falling from grace, to urge 1 John ii. 19, as a proof that all those who did not remain faithful in their Christian profession
unto the end, had never experienced a real change of heart.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us." Should you think the following observations may be useful, and worthy of a place in our Magazine, you will please to insert them.
Your's, Albany, May 4, 1824.
T. SPICER. 1. This passage, it is probable, alludes to those early heretics, some of whom had once belonged to the Christian assemblies.* They still professed Christianity, but the apostles had not com, missioned them to preach, nor did they fellowship them as brethren. They had corrupted the doctrines of the gospel with the most pernicious opinions: they had given up or explained away its most essential principles, and had introduced a system made up of heathenish ceremonies and Jewish glosses, with which they mingled a few shreds of Christianity.
2. “They went out from us.” Their going out from the apostles, means that they separated themselves from the apostles and the communion of the church, for the purpose of forming a sect by themselves. By this conduct they gave the fullest proof that they were unsound in the doctrines of the gospel.
3. “If they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us." That is if these men, who pretended to be apostles and inspired, had possessed correct views of the gospel plan of salvation, and like us apostles had received authority as apostles from the Great Head of the church, they would have had fellowship for us, and union with us.
4. “But they went out from us,” &c. God so ordered it in his wise providence that at an early age of the christian church, there should be a separation between the precious and the vile; and thereby it be made manifest before they had deceived many that they were not all apostles who pretended to be, and that all the doctrines then believed were not according to truth. And it was very providential for the church that this separation took place while inspired apostles were yet living, to distinguish and stamp the truth with divine authority:
5. “They were not ALL of us.” This implies that some of the sect alluded to had been of them, that is, had been sincere and in fellowship with the brethren. But some of the sect alluded to had never belonged to the church, they were heathens formerly, but readily embraced the views of these heretics which so nearly resembled their own. Those, who went out from the apostles must have been of them in some sense, or they could in no sense have gone out from them. In what sense then were they of thein previous to their going out from them? Ans. they were numbered among them, associated with them, and fellowshipped by them.
* DR. A. CLARKI.