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THE YEAR, 1810:
FIRST PUBLISHED BY THE
REV. JOHN WESLEY, A. M.
THE SEFENTH VOLUME OF TIE NEW STRIES.
PRINTED AT THE CONFERENCE-OFFICE, 14, CITY-ROAD;
BY JOHN JONES, ACENT.
PREACHING-HOUSES IN TOWN AND COUNTRY,
FOR JANUARY, 1810.
MEMOIR OF MR. WILLIAM VIPOND.
TO THE EDITOR.
Dear Sir, N compliance with the injunction laid upon me at the Dif
trict Meeting, I here present to you an account, or rather a sketch of the experience, holy life, and peaceful death of my late dear brother. It is much to be regretted that he did not leave any account of his conversion to God, nor of his subsequent experience in the divine life, in writing. This is not of great consequence, I allow, to his friends who knew him ; for they, judging of the tree by its fruits, are well convinced that his piety was not only fincere, but rational and exalted; yet there are thousands of persons who will read the following Memoir who cannot be fully able to appreciate his excellencies, and who consequently will not praise God on his behalf, nor be stimulated to follow him in such a manner as they probably would have done if they had been favoured with extracts from a Journal, or diary composed by himself. For these private productions may be supposed, and I think, are generally allowed, to speak the genuine language of the heart : whereas, the testimony of friends, especially relatives, is exposed to the criticisms and censures of the suspicious and uncharitable. I therefore consider myself as being called to perform a difficult though important talk, and under very inauspicious circumstances ; in consequence of which, little can be expected but a confirmation of those things which all consider as essential to the character of a minister of Jesus Christ, viz, a sound conversion to God, a holy life, accompanied with ministerial gifts, and a peaceful, if not also triumphant death. I am, dear Sir, your's affectionately,
AN Old Testament writer enquires, with great propriety, “ Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection ?” This question amounts to a positive assertion of the contrary. But though we cannot fully comprehend the infinite God, it is our mercy that enough is revealed concerning him to form the basis of the eternal happiness of his rational and immortal offspring. The uniform language of Revelation is, “ God is love :', the truth of this is daily exemplified in numberless instances. The care and kindness which he manifests, towards our bodies is a proof of it; but his love to our souls surpasses comprehension. This was the source of that ample provi-. sion made for our salvation in the Gospel of the Son of God :“ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” And this same love is perpetually displayed in the merciful concern which God manifests in influencing finners to accept salvation; and he frequently works upon the minds of his intelligent creatures at an early period. This was the case with my late dear brother: in his childhood and youth, serious impreslions were frequently made upon his mind, and his desires were drawn after God; but through his neglecting to listen to the voice of divine mercy, the vanities of the world, again gained an ascendancy over him; so that no particular alteration appeared in his fpirit or conduct till he was about eighteen years of age, when it pleased God to awaken his conscience under the ministry of the late Mr. Charles Kyte, who now rests from his labours, and who, no doubt, has already embraced his son in the Gospel, in the kingdom of their common Father. His convictions were unusually deep, and therefore his distress of soul was great in proportion. And no wonder; for, of all things in the world, to reflect on time spent in rebellion against a merciful God, and in entire opposition to our own beft interests, must be the most appalling. Infirmities may be sustained whilst the spirit is at ease, but a "wounded spirit who can bear?” This distress continued some weeks, during which he resolutely forsook all known sin, and sought the Lord earnestly, day and night, in private and in public, being fully persuaded that he must die eternally, if he did not obtain an interest in Christ, and union with him. At length the time of his deliverance drew near :- As he was walking on the highway with weeping eyes lifted up to heaven, and a heart pouring out the Publican's Prayer, and labouring to lay hold on the hope fet before him, the Lord spoke in mercy to his soul, and he received an afsurance that his fins were forgiven for Jesus's fake. A change indescribably great now passed upon his mind ; his guilty gloom was exchanged for heavenly peace and consolation, and he praised his God with joyful lips. This change, which was real, and not feigned or imaginary, laid the foundation of a subsequent life of devotednefs to God.