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by God's grace, he took a great step in advance : he gave his heart to God, and became decidedly religious. Of the time and the manner of his conversion the writer knows not the particulars, but Mr. Butterworth always spoke of his change of heart as a fact as clear as that of his own existence. It was a happy providence for him that he was contemporary with the late gifted and highly-honoured Mr. W. Barton, who was the first to introduce the Methodist New Connexion into Rochdale. Robert worked hand in hand with Mr. Barton, and they became firm friends, and their friendship continued for life. When our chapel in College Street became too small and incommodious, he, with other attached friends, entered earnestly into a project to build a new chapel in Water Street, and after long waiting and much self-denial, it was accomplished. This chapel became the centre of attraction to many earnest souls, and at the great day of accounts it will be said that this man and that man were born in her.” He was so far honoured as to be appointed one of the trustees of the new chapel. And now much, but happy, work for his Master crowded upon
him. He became a teacher and a class-leader, and made his influence for good felt in most departments of the Church. His attachment to our community was strong and unwavering, and more than once it was put to the test; but as gold tried in the fire, he was found to be genuine in his adherence to the teachings and discipline of the Connexion. This was especially shown during the storm which swept over the Connexion, mainly aroused by the heterodoxy and expulsion of Joseph Barker. At that time the preacher labouring in the Circuit took sides with the agitator, and our society at Water Street was rent in pieces, and its very existence was threatened. But we had a few firm friends who stood by us, amongst whom may be mentioned Mr. W. Barton, E. Howarth, Wm. Nield, R. Ritchen, C. Ackworth, J. Howarth, and last, but not least, Robert Butterworth. The friends thus left had to man a battered ship, but they proved skilful seamen, and brought her safe to port.
It ought to be mentioned that it was in our Sunday-school, Zachary, where Robert first became acquainted with her who ultimately became his wife, and who now, at an advanced age, survives to mourn the irreparable loss she has sustained by the decease of one of the best of husbands. His wife, when but a girl, gave herself to the Lord. Thus be was blessed with a pious partner, and a great helper in fighting life's battles. There was one circumstance in the life of Mr. Butterworth upon which he always dwelt as having given him unmixed satisfaction and pleasure, and that was when the Church at Water Street called upon his eldest son, William, to enter the ranks of the itinerant ministry of our own community. Other honours became his, for several times he was elevated to the distinction of representing the Circuit in Conference. As a citizen of the town in which he was born, and where he had dwelt for sixty-two years, he was highly respected and trusted. In politics he was a Liberal to the backbone, and helped successfully to fight many hard battles for liberty side by side with such distinguished townsmen as John Bright, Jacob Bright, Thomas Livesy, W. W. Barton, G. L. Ashworth, and other earnest men. When in the maturity of his power Mr. Butterworth was full of energy, and untiring in his efforts to serve the good cause. He lived to see the society of which he had been a member from his youth migrate from Zachary to Water Street, and from Water Street to the handsome new chapel in Molesworth Street. During the memorable and sad Lancashire “Cotton Famine," he was indefatigable in seeking means to help the distressed. We do not claim for Mr. Butterworth that he was perfect. By no means ; he had his failings. There was, for instance, an impetuosity in his temper which was sometimes disagreeable to many persons, and which placed him at a disadvantage; but if he was weak in some points, he was strong in others of great importance. He had good common-sense, and used to see the merits of a question in a moment, and he would lay right hold of the heart of a matter, and there he would take his stand, conscious of his strength to
maintain his position. Physically he was tall and of a prepossessing presence, and until within the last few years he was in good health. But incessant work from a youth began to tell upon him, and his strength began to fail. That which most strongly marked the commencement of his physical decay was the appearance of a severe rheumatic disorder, and to add to his affliction, he met with an accident, by which his left knee was dislocated, and he was thus rendered lame for life. Thus physically incapacitated for much exertion, he was very unwillingly obliged to abandon much active interest in the Church. The disease made progress, notwithstanding the best medical advice which could be secured. At last the malady concentrated itself upon the vital organ, the heart. At times he suffered much, but he was never heard to complain. It is known to those who gave him their loving care that he was constantly looking to Jesus. Not very many days before he died his eldest son was with him, and had opportunities of hearing him express confident assurances of his spiritual safety. His death came suddenly at last. His youngest son was with him late the night before, and found him unusually cheerful and happy, but before morning God had called him away to a better world. He died in his sleep. He was carried across Jordan in the arms of Jesus asleep, and he awoke up amidst the glories and joys of heaven.
The writer has received many letters from friends who knew Mr. Butterworth, from two of which extracts are appended.
The Rev. C. J. Donald writes :—“My acquaintance with your father commenced in the year 1829, when I was appointed to the Bolton Circuit, of which Rochdale formed a part. We were as much together as the time I bad to be at Rochdale would allow, he going with me to my appointments in the neighbourhood each evening. He was then under twenty years of age, a serious, godly young man, and gave promise of stability in the faith, and a warm and lively interest in the prosperity of the cause for Christ's sake. He had an affectionate esteem for devoted ministers, which I found him manifest in after years, as I had opportunities of meeting with him. Whatever might be the shakings in the Church, or the changes in individuals, he remained faithful. And I believe he is now enjoying the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him."
The Rev. T. W. Ridley says :—"I feel for you in the loss you have sustained by the death of your dear father. I little thought when I parted from him that I should no more in the flesh see his face. He was a true friend of the Connexion, and had been identified with us for many years. For some time he took little part in the affairs of the Church at Rochdale. This I regret, but do not wonder at it. I have seen him under the Gospel weep and smile, but they were tears of joy and smiles of gladness. ` I always enjoyed a conversation with him in his home on Connexional affairs and on personal religion. He was anxious to do right, and to see the cause of God prosper. He regretted the existence of that which he deemed militated against the interests of Zion. He loved you; took an interest in your welfare. He wept when you were downcast, and rejoiced when you were happy and had success."
He died August 31, 1874, and was interred at St. Clement's Church, Spotland, September 4th. His death was improved on Sunday, September 20, by the Rev. W. Woodward, in Molesworth Street Chapel, to a large congregation, from the words of Scripture—“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”; on which occasion the substance of this memoir, prepared by the Rev. W. Butterworth, was read.
MR. JAMES MILLERSHIP SADLER,
OLDBURY. The reaping of ripe corn excites in us no regret, save for the loss of its beauty; but we should incline to stop the shearer at work amongst corn still decorated with its bloom. So, though we mourn for and miss
them, yet when the aged die, we do "accept the inevitable.” But when the young, whose work seems but well begun, who are giving the blossom and have pledged the fruit of their lives to God—when these fall, a host of daring questions come clamouring to our minds, and only a great faith can hush their tumult with the prayer, “Thy will be done.' So with our brother, a tree full of fruit has been smitten, and the barren ones still flourish; the drones swarm in and out, but the worker is dead; and only a faith that closes its eyes to appearances, and clings for dear life to God, can accept the fact of his death as being the best for all.
Our brother was born at Oldbury, in 1838. He was the eldest son of our staunch friend, James Sadler, Esq. The father was brought to God whilst yet the son was an infant, and hence the son grew up amongst the influences of home godliness. Under these influences he manifested great seriousness of character, which seemed to foretoken an early conversion. But during his apprenticeship our brother resided from home, and when not held back by the sweet strong restraints of home piety, he, like many another so circumstanced, gave the reins of his life into the hand of his depraved heart. His apprenticeship was doubtless the darkest page in his life's history.
His conversion did not take place until after his marriage, in 1860. For some time after his marriage he resided at Wednesbury, and whilst there sat under the ministry of the Rev. E. Wright; and though his decision for God was not then, yet Mr. Wright was the honoured instrument of reawakening his religious anxiety. He sowed, but it was given to another to reap.
Brother Sadler was “ brought in ” in the old-fashioned Methodistic way. In the former Tabernacle, after a faithful sermon by the Rev. Moses Cotton, during the prayer-meeting he yielded himself fully and finally to the service of Christ. It was a memorable night in the history of the Tabernacle, still spoken of by those who were present as the night of a "great rain," when J. M. Sadler and the late Mrs. B. T. Sadler, with many others, knelt and wept at the penitent form. Brother and sister burst almost simultaneously into the glorous liberty of the children of God. Four years ago the gentle spirit of Mrs. B. T. Sadler entered into rest, and now he who hand in hand with her entered the Church below has gone to join her before the throne.
From the day of his conversion our brother flung all the energies of his strong and generous nature into the service of his Redeemer. Possessed of perhaps every qualification for high Christian usefulness, his course was eminently bright. The energy, combined with forethought and managing tact, which so largely promoted his commercial successes, was equally helpful in business meetings and the general secularities of the Church. Hope was also a prominent trait of his character. He, more than most men, looked at the bright side of life, and laughed at imaginary evils, whilst his never-failing cheerfulness made him welcome in every circle. More prominent still was his liberality. He shamed the niggards, and provoked in many the devising and execution of liberal things. And " into it all” he was ready in all companies and places to speak a word for Jesus, and never seemed to go beyond the shadow of the cross.
No wonder that, with such a character, he was one of the busiest bees in the Lord's hive. We do but justice to his memory when we say that his life was filled with labours of love. For a long period he was a hard worker in the Sabbath-school; though young he held the honourable office of assistant leader to brother Jones; for several years he was a most efficient secretary steward of the Oldbury Society; and once he was cordially chosen to represent the Circuit at Conference. And on the finances of our cause he has left a mark as deep and lasting. He was amongst the foremost to introduce that "weekly offering ” system which has been such a pecuniary blessing to our Society; the great effort by which the debt on the old Tabernacle was cleared away originated in him; and in the erection of the new chapel his offering of time, and toil, and gold ranks with the first.
Our brother does not need that we make this catalogue of his good deeds, but God requires many such workers as he was; and we would hold his example prominently before those rising men of intelligence and position who dole out their mites of service to the cause of Christ with a niggardly and unwilling hand.
We cannot refrain from quoting a few lines from a paper supplied to us by our friend, Mr. John Nash. He says: “J. M. Sadler was my friend, and I proved him to be worthy of all the confidence I imposed in him. In perplexity he was ready with counsel, in sorrow with comfort. His friendship was constant, steadfast, and true.
His business life was marked by strict integrity and extreme industry-indeed, there is little doubt but that the latter trait hastened the development of his affliction. And he was equally fervent in spirit. He carried his religion wherever he went. At business he reproved sin amongst his workpeople, and imposed a fine on them for the use of foul language; and at home. he had a family altar where he daily read and explained the Scriptures to, and prayed with, his household. His one desire seemed to be a Christian."
The on-coming of our brother's death was equally slow and sure. His disease was not common : it was decay of the spinal cord. First his hands forgot, in part, their cunning; then his lower limbs became all but helpless ; and then, and saddest of all, his brain was partially paralysed, and his intellect, in consequence, overshadowed with a thick cloud. He began to fail in the spring of '70. In '73 he partially recovered. Yet was it but the lull before the storm, for in the early months of the present year his disease returned with fourfold violence, and on the 8th of February last he attended for the last time the house of God. From that date he became gradually weaker and worse until, on June 9, he fell asleep in Jesus. It was my privilege to see him die, and like an infant resting on its mother's bosom, so did he sink into his long repose.
Concerning our brother we have little of dying testimony to record. It is not any final shout of triumph, but the voice of a life that comes from his grave. His sun set behind heavy storm-clouds. Its glory was hid. Yet not only did the interests of Zion predominate in his mental wanderings, but once or twice, by the mercy of God, we saw through a rift in the cloud the clear light. When near his end he suddenly opened his eyes, and
said to his wife, with perfect naturalness, “ Ma, the end is not far off; but I am all right, my trust is all in Christ. Glory be to God ! glory be to God!” Then the cloud closed, and all was dark. Again, when still nearer to the end, with the same quiet intelligence, he gave dying words of exhortation to his children. Then the cloud descended again. It did not lift after that; but I would like to hope that all who read these lines may live such a life, and die with such a hope, as did J. M. Sadler.
Very fervently do I join brother Nash in the prayer which closes his sketch :
“Oh, may I triumph so,
When all my warfare's past;
J. K. JACKSON, It was once the Editor's privilege to be associated with Mr. Sadler in Christian fellowship and work, and he can bear his testimony to the truthfulness of what is here recorded of his liberality and devotedness. One illustration of this he cannot refrain giving. At the commencement of the effort to liquidate the debt on the Tabernacle, as the Oldbury Chapel is called, Dr. Cooke was invited to give us a sermon toward the object, and We promised to do our best to make the collection £100. At a meeting held to devise means for the fulfilment of this promise, a good brother thought Mr. Sadler's expectations were too sanguine, and by way of repressing his ardour, said it did not become young men to speak of such a sum as a hundred pounds in the flippant way he did. This roused the spirit of our
departed friend, and in his warmth he said, after those remarks the thing should be done, and so it was. The next morning he called upon me in his gig, and we visited nearly all the friends in the Circuit who had, as we thought, the means and disposition to help us; the result being that more than £80 were promised before the service for the collection was held, thus securing the £100 desired. Happy would it be for the Church if all our young men were epdued with the zeal and liberality which marked our lamented brother's life].
MOSSLEY. ONE of the greatest advantages that can be inherited in this world is to be born of pious parents. Another is to be successfully trained by them “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Both these belonged to Ann, the daughter of James and Jane Broadbent, who was born at Mossley, on June 5, 1837.
In childhood she was exceedingly quiet ; as she grew in years she manifested a disposition of great peacefulness; was always obedient to her parents, and not known to have told a falsehood. As soon as she had attained the age at which the rules of Wyre Street School allowed, she was enrolled as a scholar, and maintained her connection with the institution until her removal to Manchester, in 1865. When about fourteen years of age she joined the Church, meeting in the class led by the late Mr. James Dyson. In all likelihood she was made “a new creature in Christ Jesus" at the time, though the exact circumstances of the event are not known.
The Rev. J. Taylor, late Superintendent of the Mossley Circuit, has kindly supplied a considerable notice of sister Walker, which I herein insert :-My first acquaintance with Mrs. Walker and her late husband was on the occasion of their coming to reside in Manchester. The appear. ance of so worthy and steady a couple willing to join us and throw in their energies greatly rejoiced my heart, and from the first I felt more than an ordinary interest in them and in their welfare. I frequently visited them at their new home, and had many opportunities of ascertaining their worth. It seems strange that both should have passed away at so early a period, but even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight." As respects Ann, I will notice :
1. Her natural disposition. She had the elements of a fine character, the predominating qualities being goodness, meekness, and gentleness. I do not say that in evidencing these qualities she never had a struggle, for that would be to deprive them of their virtue, but assuredly she evidenced a sweet disposition, and that with a steady uniformity rarely attained. The self-control she exercised over a naturally well-balanced mind enabled her to present Christianity before others under very favourable aspects.
2. The features of her character. I only mention those which stood out prominently, and which no one who knew her could fail to recognise. She was always the same. The same kindly expression invariably greeted you. She was conscientious without being fastidious; and economical without parsimoniousness. She never spoke unkindly of others, and when a depreciatory remark was dropped, she would say, “Well
, but perhaps we don't know all about it." While she was well she had no idle moments. Industry was with her both a principle and a passion; and when affliction lay heavily upon her, she bore it with fortitude and patience.
3. Her domestic life. It was, as we might anticipate, peaceful and happy. Fortunately in her case matrimony was a union of hearts, and to make life a success in the truest sense they were both influenced as by one will. The time, however, came when symptoms of declining health were unmistakably perceptible in the constitution of her husband, and she