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He now became a preacher to his father, who, though, a hearer and approver of the gospel, was yet a stranger to its power. Mr. Moody's pious and affectionate exhortations were not in vain: lie had the happiness to sec his dcar parent become a serious Christian; and, when his son entered into the ininiştry, he chose to reside with him, and spend his latter years in the enjoyment of God and religion.
His zeal and talents soon pointed him out as a fit person to becomca minister. But as yet he did not see his call to that work clearly. He therefore set up in business, in partnership with a pious young man, who had been his companion; and about the same time, he married'a Miss Eliz. Fidler, of London. His inclination to the ministry, however, was unabated; and, by the solicitations of his serious friends, he determined to relinquish his worldly pursuits, and devote himself to that honourable work, which he has so faithfully and laboriously executed for twenty-five years, He was advised to go to college, with a view of entering into the established church; but he had some scruples which he could not conquer; and his having the prospect of a growing family, put additional difficulties in the way. He determined therefore to join the dissenters.
About this time, a few pious and zealous gentlemen instituted a seminary, known by the name of “ The English Academy;" in which young men of talents were to receive assistance in their preparation for the pulpit, without going through the whole course of studies usual in dissenting academies. Into this şeminary Mr. M. was admitted ; and, after having continued the usual time, under the tuition of the Rev. Messrs. Brewer, Barber, and Kello, who then conducted the institution, he received an invitation to preach, as a probationer, to the infant church at Warwick. Here he settled ; and here he continued to labour in the most faithful and affectionate manner, endeavouring to discharge all the duties of the pastoral office, with a regard to the approbation of his great Master.
The blessing which attended liis ministry may be estimated, in some degree, by the additions made to the church and congre. gation. When he first came to Warwick, in November 1781, his hearers were about 50 in number, and the members of the church only 18 or 20. The hearers soon increased to about 150; and, in the course of 25 years, upwards of 150 members wcre added to the church. The chapel was also much enlarged.
Mr. Moody's labours were not confined to the town of Wärwick; the villages or neighbouring towns, where the people lived in ignorance and vice, excited his compassionate regards; and his labours, in this way, in: conjunction with other preachers, were indeed abundant.
For about 13 years, he paid an annual visit to London, and preached for six weeks at a time to the vast congregations assemb«
ling at the Tabernacle in Moorfields, and the chapel in Tottenham-court Road. Here his ministry was justly prized; many sinners were converted to God, and believers built up in their most holy faith.
He used also to visit the Tabernacle at Bristol for a few weeks, annually ; where his ministry was equally acceptable as at London, and eminently useful *.
Mr. Moody's success did not free him from a variety of afflictions. About three years after his settlement at Warwick, he sustained a great domestic trial. Mrs. Moody, who had borne three children, was removed by death, when confined with a fourth; and, in the course of seven weeks, he was deprived of his partner in life, and threc of his children. His eldest daughter alone survives him t.
Another painful exercise of mind arose from the numerous invitations he received, to remove to congregations that promised more extensive opportunities of usefulness; and where he might have received greater ternporal advantages; but, on all these occasions, some circumstance or other gave a turn to the affair, and a dread of erring in so important a matter, led him frequently to sacrifice both inclination and interest to an apprehension of duty.
In the midst of usefulness, of apparent health, and mental vigour, the sovereign disposer of human life, and the great director of all the affairs of the church, was pleased to put an unexpected period to the services of this man of God.
He was invited to preach for a few Sabbaths at Bristol, in the month of July last. He was preparing to leave home about the 10th of that month ; and, in the prospect of his journey, the additional labours of the Lord's Day, July 6th, appear to have proved the immediate occasion of his illness. On that day he preached thrice, as usual; held a church-meeting after the morning service, for the admission of a member from the country; celebrated the Lord's Supper, and baptized several children. He appeared to his family unusually wearied, and slept uncasily the following night. . On Monday, desirous of engaging Mr. R--, of Coventry, to supply for him on the following Sabbath, he rode to that place, though the morning was very stormy, and the day hot.
* Among his laborious efforts to do good to the souls of men, his visits to the county'eaol at Warwick ought not to be forgotten. On several occasions, when his services were requested by the condemned criininals, he attended daily, with great diligence and solicitude; and there was much reason to believe, that his instructions and prayers were blessed to the real conversion of some of those unhappy persons.
+ In the year 1786, Mr. Mood; entered a second time into the marriagestate with Miss E. Wathew, of Walsal; to sereral of whose family he has been made the happy instrument of spiritual benefit, and was highly esteçme by tbem,
' so great a cain, and hope it he might sofis habita
the thus Supplugust July
He returned in the evening much spent; and immediately went, without any refreshment, to join his people at their meeting of prayer, and recapitulated the sermons of the preceding day. He was evidently much heated; and Mrs. Moody was alarmed at the tokens of disorder in his countenance. Fle went through the service, however, with his usual spirit ; but he had a bad vight, and considerable fever.
When he came down in the morning, he said to the servant, “ I have had a stroke:" but the family were unwilling to believe that so great a calamity had taken place. Medical help, however, was soon called in, and hope was entertained, from the slightness of the paralytic affection, that he might soon be restored to health and usefulness. He was confined to his habitation the whole of the first Sabbath. Being rather better in the course of the week, he went once to the meeting on the second Sabbath. On the third, he went out twice. On the fourth, he administered the Lord's Supper to his people, but could not preach. On the fifth Sabbath, August 10, he preached once, with pleasure and profit, on Ileb. xiii. 1, “Let brotherly love continue.”.
On the next Sabbath, August 17, he preached once more to his people, a funeral sermon for a member of the church, on Eccles. ix. 10,“ Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,” &c. This was the last sermon he ever delivered at Warwick; thus closing his testimony with an exhortation to improve the present moment, from the consideration of the uncertainty of future opportunities.
By the advice of his physician, with a view to the improvement of his health, and at the solicitation of his friends at Bristol, he went thither, August 21st, intending to preach a little, should he find sufficient strength. For several days he was too ill to make the attempt. At length, however, unwilling wholly to decline his beloved work among an affectionate people, who dearly loved him, he ventured to preach on three different days: -once at Kingswood, and twice at the Tabernacle; but the exertion was too much for him, and he became immediately much worse. He was obliged to give up all future efforis; and returned with much difliculty to Warwick, on the 2 and Sd days of September.
Lord's Day, Sept. 14th, though very ill, and unable to preach, he was still desirous of serving his flock; and therefore adıninis. tered the Lord's Supper to them. It was a solemn season, never to be forgotten by the people, who feared it would prove, as it actually did, the last time he would ever acidress them. Ha spoke in the most affictionate and impressive manner; and it is pariicularly recollecterl, that he said, he hoped that his silent Sabbathis would speak more loudly than all the sermons he had ever preached. Ile never more entered the doors of the chapel.
Aller this be gracially weakened; but still soine hopes of his
recovery were entertained ; and he felt inclined to visit some friends at Nottingham, &c. On Sept. 20th be left home ; but had not proceeded further than Bedworth before he had a second stroke; and was obliged to return home. When his daughters saw him at Bedworth, and asked him how he did, he answered, “ Aliye, and that is all. I have quite lost the use of my arm and leg.” And when she said, “But I hope you will recover it again,” he replied, Nover, till the resurrection-day!"
For some time after the commencement of his disorder, his mind was greatly depressed ; and if we recollect the nature of his complaint, which commonly lowers the spirits-he sudden stop put to a life of great activity-his confinement to his bed or chair and when we consider how usual it is for the great enemy of souls to seize advantages of this kind, for shooting his fiery darts of temptation, we may easily account for his mental sufferings on this occasion.
When his usefulness in the ministry was mentioned to him what an enemy he had been to Satan and his kingdom, -and that it was not to be wondered at if he now harrassed him, he immediately stopped this conversation, and said that nothing offended his ears so much as mentioning any thing that he had ever done; and then proceeded to speak of himself in the most humiliating terms imaginable.
When a person said to him, “ I wonder that you should ex. press any fear, for you hare been seldom a day without setting death before you,"_be answered, “My office led me to think much on the subject; but it is a different thing to meditate on it, and to see it approaching.'
This depression of mind was however happily removed; and for many weeks before his death his mind was gcnerally calm, sometimes joyful in the Lord; his resignation to the Divine Wil was exemplary, and he scemed to have no desire of his own, either for life or death, rcferring it wholly to the Lord.
At one time, being asked by the servant how he did hc anşwered, “ I dare not say, though I am sepsible of my state, lest I discourage my dear faniily; but, I think I am very near my home.”
On the Lord's Day, in prayer, he begged that he might glorify God while passing ilirough the valley of the shadow of death, and that God would sanctify him in his captivity. To bis daughter be said, “ My, child ! my child! wrestle with God an hour for me to-day. - With what pleasure did I formerly lead the devotions in the licuse of God! I should think it an hopour now to join with my people in their worship; but I trust, bctore long, to join the General Assembly of the redeemed in glory." * At another time, he said, "}am pretty well.” Mrs. M. said, I am glad to hựar you say so;' he added, “I mean, I shall
soon be well: I shall soon bave no more head-ache -- no more pain.” Mrs. M. asked bim whether he did not wish to recover: he said, “ I dare not choose ; let God do as he pleases with me.”
One morning, taking his daughter by the hand, and appear. ing to be engaged in devotion, Mrs. M. asked him if he was praying for Miss Moody: he answered, “ I am.- May the Lord keep you in his ways, my dear child, and guide you, and preserve you from sin and temptation. I leave you, my dear, the same inheritance which is left to all the children of gospelministers, The Lord will provide.” He continued for some time speaking of the Lord's goodness to her : “ Your bread has been given, and your water has been sure ; and what can you want more ?"
During several weeks previous to his removal, he was generally in a lethargic state; but when something bappenei to rouse him from the stupor, he would drop some pleasing and encouraging sentences. On one of these occasions he said, “ What are the next words to those (repeating, with a sweet smile)
« Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are? This was spoken evidently with a design to encourage his mourning relatives. At another time he said, “ Come, let us confort one another with these words : And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” “() what a thought,” said he, “ to be ever with the Lord !"
After this he said but little. Disorder gained ground; his strength was quite exhausted, and he breathed his last about twenty minutes before twelve on Saturday night, Nov. 22; thus leaving his family and friends to weep over their own loss, while his triumphant spirit soared to the regions of immortality, to be with Christ, the beloved of his soul, for ever and ever.
The mortal remains of Mr. Moodly were interrel in the Meet. ing-house where he had laboured, on Friday Nov. 28th. The body was carried to the grave by six of his congregation. Tire pall was supported by six ministers; Mr. Jerard of Coveutry, Mr. James of Birmingham, Mr. Whitehouse of Stratford, Mire llewitt of Bedworth, Mr. Burton of Bed worth, and Mr. Reid of Warwick. The Rev. Mr. Evans of Foleshill, the Rev. Mr. Burkitt of Kenilworth, and Mr. Rowton of Coventry, walked before the corpse, which was followed by three of the relations of the deceased, and the three deacons of the church. The collin being placed by the side of the brick-grave, which was made near the pulpit, and under the Communion , table, Mr. Evans read The 90ih psalm ; after which the congregation, which was very numerous, sang the 110th hyma of Di. Taits, B. 4,