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and hardships, to which he was subjected during this period, es / probably produced that delicacy of constitution which manifested d” itself in after life. At the expiration of his apprenticeship our friend uld
removed to Wheaton Aston, where he spent some time in the employ Dire of Mr. Moore. Forty years afterwards, Mr. Bailey sent for Mr.
Moore to spend a few days with him at Lightwood Lodge. During for
the whole of this interval he had lived in utter worldliness. Mr. eter Bailey recounted the good things which the Lord his God had done nd. for him, and urged his visitor to seek the mercy of the Lord. Re
ferring to this incident, Mr. Bailey says,—“Blessed be God! he was
so affected by my simple and affectionate appeals, that afterwards he fied became a servant of the Lord Jesus, joined an Independent Church, nce walked worthy his high vocation through a number of years, and
finished his course with joy.” Our friend's next removal was to cich Newcastle, thence, after a short sojourn, to the Potteries, where bis fen. life expanded into various relations, his character was formed, and the
remainder of his days spent in usefulness and honour. No remarksic able facts appear to have distinguished his early years. His youth
was free from flagrant vices, and manifested those sterling and amiable qualities which, when sanctified by the grace of God, made
an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.”
The most important events in man's life are his conversion to al God and union with the church; when these occur in youth and are ply followed, at the fitting time, by settlement in a suitable business, and
marriage with a prudent and pious woman, the magnetic circle is complete, and established under the most favourable conditions. They are the first links in the chain of life, from which all the others depend, and which determine the shape and substance of all the others. As wave propagates wave, and thus bears onward the bark to its destined haven, so do these events surround a man with influences, which ennoble his character, and make his life useful, honourable, and
CONVERSION AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS PIETY.
Not overlooking the fact that Mr. Bailey's mother was mindful of his spiritual wants, his first serious thoughts were excited by the Rev. Mr. Meek, of Eccleshall, who indicated his Christian zeal and enlightened patriotism by founding a Sabbath school, which he appears to have superintended, and in which our_friend became a scholar. Referring to these school influences, Mr. Bailey says,—"I well remember that my heart was much impressed with his serious deportment and instructions." These impressions were deepened by the endeavours of Mr. Joseph Buck, a zealous Methodist, and brother of his employer at Newcastle, who frequently took him into his private room, and conversed and prayed with him. About the same time he was induced to attend the ministry of the Methodists, which, he says, , “arrested my attention and impressed my heart." Having removed to Cobridge, some zealous Methodists, of Burslem, established a class, the first formed in that village, and he was invited to join it. Referring to these processes, he remarks,-_“I think it must have been at Cobridge that the good Lord pardoned my sins. While there my heart was more fully opened to receive the gospel of salvation, and I
gradually acquired the steady confidence and inward peace of which the children of God are partakers. For some years I was a good deal troubled, because I could not tell the exact time of my conversion; but for a long period I have been free from anxiety on that point; having learned that it is of greater importance to know that I am now a child of God and an heir of heaven, than to know when the gracious change was effected.”
The conversion of our friend did not resemble that of Saul of Tarsus, or the thousands on the day of Pentecost; its type will be fsund rather in Lydia, whose heart the Lord opened, by a process soft and gentle as vernal suns dissolve the frozen bonds of winter, and clothe the earth in greenness and beauty, so gently were her prejudices and unbelief removed, and her heart expanded to receive Jesus as her Saviour. Mr. Bailey's conversion was another fact illustrating the principle, that the operations of the Holy Spirit are modified by specific constitutions. It may require the bolt winged with the lightning's flame to shiver the rock, but it is the gentle dew which softens the soil
, and excites the life hidden in the seeds and roots wbich have been laid in its bosom. So the tender and modest heart of our friend was gradually drawn to the Saviour, and made happy in the consciousness of his love. An effect implies a cause, and indicates its nature. The blooming cheek and the elastic muscle prove that life wells up pure at the fountain; and a long course of consistent godliness demonstrated the genuineness of Mr. Bailey's conversion.
We will not attempt the analysis of our friend's piety, but some of its characteristics are entitled to consideration. It was evangelical. The conviction of sin, implying the need of mercy; faith in the atonement of Christ; the renewing of the Holy Ghost; the witness of the Spirit to the fact of adoption ; holiness as the outgrowth and evidence of faith. These were truths clearly understood and firmly believed. Jesus Christ was the centre and source of his spiritual life. This was apparent in his conversation, prayers, the ministry he preferred, and in which he most delighted, and the books he most frequently read.
Hence his practical consistency. His piety was more than a profession, it was a daily practice--visible in the well-regulated temper, the uprightness, the scrupulous adherence to truth, and the kindness which marked his home life. On this occasion we have no inconsistencies to deplore or palliate. Having put on the Lord Jesus, he walked in him. He bore the yoke of his Saviour gracefully. The precepts of the gospel were not to him so many curbs, scarcely overpowering the strong propensities of a carnal nature; they were rather necessary guides, pointing out the way in which his feet delighted to run. He sustained various relations, and passed through changing providences, which involved weighty obligations and severe trials; but everywhere his piety, as a governing and sustaining principle, was conspicuous.
There was nothing ascetic in his piety, it was bright as the day, and buoyant as untarnished health. He was naturally fond of quietude but not of loneliness. The delicacy of his health precluded an extensive intercourse with general society, but he gathered around him a select circle of Christian friends. The smile with which he greeted
them, the ease and pleasantness of his conversation on both spiritual and general subjects, were but the outflowings of the social affections and sacred joys of his heart.
His piety was devotional. Religion is life, and requires exercise and food to preserve its existence and promote its growth. Mr. Bailey was a man of prayer, self-communion, and meditation ; the reading of the Bible, of books of experimental and practical godliness, and amongst these the works of Mr. Jay were great favourites and constant companions—and the lives of holy and useful men, were daily exercises. Thus did he replenish that lamp which evermore burned with so clear and mild a radiance, and kept alive those holy affections by which he walked with God. Nor was he less assiduous in attending the social means of grace. To mingle with the people of God in prayers and praises, to state his experience and listen to theirs, were ranked amongst his highest privileges. He regularly attended his class, which met at eight o'clock on the Sabbath morning. He was a green olive tree planted in the house of the Lord. The perpetual freshness, beauty, and fruitfulness which his piety evinced, were derived from those streams which make glad the city of God.
We must not overlook that amiable spirit which diffused a charm over his whole character. Much of this was the spontaneous growth of his natural disposition, but much also was due to divine grace. Unaffected modesty, child-like simplicity, humbleness, meekness, profound respect for others, and the preference of others to himself, invested him with the grace and dignity of genuine politeness--not an assemblage of artificial manners, but the courteousness of the apostolic precept, the very spirit and office of charity—that feature which Abraham displayed in his conduct towards Lot, the children of Heth, and the heavenly visitants.
His piety was catholic. Mr. Bailey was a lover of good men everywhere. Denominational differences, which relate merely to speculative creeds and forms of government, did not restrict his friendships, his prayers, or his liberality. He regarded Jesus Christ as the true and only centre of the church's unity, and his fraternal charities embraced all those who are called to be saints. In our friend this was peculiarly fitting. His first serious impressions were produced by a minister of the Established Church; the Wesleyans were the first to guide him to the Saviour and to the fellowship of the saints; his wife was found amongst the Independents; and some of his selectest friendships were members and ministers of other denominations. His heart embraced them all, and they were welcomed to the hospitalities of his home. He watched with interest their proceedings, supported their institutions, and rejoiced in their success.
DOMESTIC RELATIONS, VIRTUES, AND SORROWS. In the spring of 1794 Mr. Bailey removed from Cobridge to Hanley, where he formed an acquaintance with Miss Bradshaw, a pious young woman, then a member of the Independent church worshipping in the Tabernacle, and under the pastorate of the Rev. J. Boden, afterwards of Sheffield. This friendship soon ripened into a warm attachment. Mr. Bailey says, “ Believing her to be a person every way fitted to make me a belpmate, I offered her my hand and heart,
which she accepted, and in a few months we were united in marriage.” This union was a congenial one ; being based upon mutual esteem and affection, it yielded to both the highest earthly comforts and joys, and it was crowned by the benediction of God.
Husband and wife fearing the Lord, they consecrated their household by faith and prayer. They not only co-operated in temporal affairs, but became helpers of each other's spiritual joy. Their home was blessed with eight children, four of whom died in infancy. Three sons and one daughter survived. These were objects of solicitude to both parents, who sought for them an education calculated to fit them for a useful and honourable manhood in both civil and religious society. The eldest son was placed for a short period under the care of the Rev. Thomas Cotterill, A.M., incumbent of Lane End, an evangelical and powerful preacher, extensively useful in that township, and subsequently in Sheffield. The three brothers were also placed under the care of the celebrated Dr. Adam Clarke, then resident at Millbrook, Lancashire. The Doctor superintended their education, and his eldest son was their instructor. Without pronouncing upon the comparative advantages of public and private education, we believe these arrangements were made by Mr. and Mrs, Bailey in special reference to the religious training of the children, in connection with the cultivation of their manners and intellect. Their conversion and eternal salvation were objects of paramount importance, and the desire to accomplish them subordinated, if they did not absorb, every other.
Education implies instruction, but it also implies much more. The limitation of education to mere instruction is not only false in theory, but mischievous in its consequences. It exacts from the schoolmaster, whose office is chiefly the cultivation of the memory and the reason, results which he cannot possibly produce, and it underrates parental influence and responsibility. Education is “the result of the influences which breathe around the life of a well-ordered home; of a mother's affectionate care and tender vigilance; of holy lessons instilled and fostered under the genial warmth of that soft religious sympathy which speaks not in catechisms, but from heart to heart; of that which teaches more than words can teach—the daily example of a parent's Christian life. So far as these exist the child will have a real education.” Such were the views of Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, and such the processes by which they endeavoured to educate their children. They conversed with them on the facts and truths contained in the Scriptures, and led them to the throne of Divine grace: religion was exemplified in their holy and amiable lives, and in the order and happiness of their Christian home. Mr. Bailey was wont to retire every day to pray for his children and every member of his family by name. In some respects, perhaps, he was too indulgent; but no one can doubt the sincerity or earnestness with which he sought their spiritual welfare.
This earth contains no paradise, and home, which is the most perfect approximation thereto, is exposed to storms and sorrows. From these the home of our friend was not exempted. The circle of his affections was repeatedly shaken by domestic afflictions and broken by bereavements. In the year 1828, his second surviving son, David, a young man of great amiability and promise, died in bis twenty-seventh
year. During his long affliction he experienced the consolations of grace, and the parent's heart was solaced by the assurance that he had entered the rest of heaven. A severer blow fell upon him a few years later, in the death of Mrs. Bailey, whose health, during many years, had been delicate. She was a woman of gentle and retiring disposition, of great prudence, and rare piety, who, as the bride of his youth and the mother of his children, was interwoven with all his trials, projects, and joys. Her last hours were full of peace and triumphant hopes. Referring to these sorrows, Mr. Bailey says, addition to a larger share of personal affliction than falls to the lot of many of the servants of the Lord, I have had to pass through severe domestic trials, the heaviest of which was the death of my first wife. In her death I lost an invaluable helpmate.” But the grace which was so richly imparted to the suffering and dying wife, also soothed and sustained the mind of the husband. A few years after this event, his eldest son, William, was taken away in the prime of life. Several years after the death of his first wife, Mr. Bailey entered into marriage relations with an estimable lady, Mrs. Mort, formerly of Newcastleunder-Lyme, whose many excellencies he appreciated. The union was but transient—in about five years he again became a widower.
The husband and father has rejoined the loved ones who preceded him to the Saviour's presence. Others survive and are amongst us. How great their privilege to have had such parents, and to have been trained in such a home ! Jehovah blessed our friend as he did his ancient people “in praise, and in name, and in honour.” To inherit this name is a far greater honour to his children than the wealth he bequeathed them.
As a church, we desire that the children may be with us when the fathers are no more. The piety thus perpetuated in a long line of ancestors would create a heraldry in our churches, whose spiritual virtues and memories would eclipse the blazonry of earthly rank, shed a lustre upon our denomination, and excite others to emulation.
(To be concluded in our next.)
ESSAYS, &c., ON THEOLOGY AND GENERAL
LABOUR A UNIVERSAL DUTY,
BY THE REV. T. ALLIN.