Page images


MR. Thomas NORTON.—The inspired' days. When his brief period of oracle has declared that the righteous schooling was completed, the youth shall be in everlasting remembrance. was taught the trade of a shoe And we may rest assured that the maker, and continued to work at it faithfulness of God will provide in his native village for several with unfailing certainty for the ac- years. But when approaching thirty complishment of His own promises. years of age he removed to Burton But notwithstanding this as even and opened a shoe warehouse, which the omnipotent Jehovah condescends is still continued. About the same to effect His purposes by. the em- time he was united in marriage to ployment of instruments and the Elizabeth Hood, who through his use of means, it surely ought to be whole aftercourse, was his faithful recognized as the duty of the companion and still survives as his church of Christ to use all legiti- sorrowing widow. However, amidst mate means to place on permanent all these secular and temporal arrecord the memory of her worthiest rangements, highly important as sons. It is under this impression they were each in its own line, the that these lines are written. Nor is young tradesman and husband, felt this all, for it might be readily deeply as indeed he had long felt, shown that the lives of such as that he had other interests besides have been exemplary for piety, are the worldly and the temporal, worthy not only of being transmitted superior in their importance, and to posterity, but also of being made prior in their claims.

He was known far beyond the limited sphere Christian both in theory, experience, in which they may have moved. and profession, and he resolved conIn this way they may be rendered sistently to carry out his religious not only a lasting but an extensive principles. For several years before blessing. It is hoped that a brief this period, Mr. Norton bad been a memorial of the subject of this member of the Baptist church at sketch may not be without its use. Cauldwell, and he now began to feel Mr. Thomas Norton, of Burton-on- the loss of those religious privileges Trent, was born in the year 1795, at to which he had been accustomed, Cauldwell, a small village in the and which were not only most con. southern extremity of Derbyshire. genial to his feelings, but almost Probably at the time of Mr. indispensable to his spiritual life. Norton's birth, his native village He therefore set his heart on enowed its chief interest to the small deavouring to establish a church of but somewhat popular General his own denomination in the town Baptist chapel which it contained, in which the providence of God had and with which his parents were

cast his lot. The result was the connected. Our deceased friend formation of a church, consisting of was a worthy member of a worthy eleven members, on the 30th of family, several of whom have been January, 1825. The ministers who ornaments to the denomination with officiated on this occasion so deeply which he was for nearly half a interesting to all the parties concentury identified. The writer has cerned, were brethren Pike of Derby, not the means of knowing many of and Orton of Hugglescote. The the details of his friend's early life. first of these eleven names is that It will, however, be sufficient to say of our departed friend, and we that he acquired such an education believe it may be safely said, that as boys of his class were at that from that day to the close of his time accustomed to receive, and life, his conduct as a member of which served his purpose in after this small and struggling com



munity, accorded well with the Great Benefactor, being fully conposition which he then took and scious that at best he was but an un. ever afterwards maintained. During profitable servant.

Until beyond many years from the formation of the period of middle age, Mr. the church, Mr. Norton was humanly Norton was favoured with sound speaking the life and stay of the health and with more than an average

His attendance not only on amount of vigour and activity which public worship, but at prayer-meet- was indicated by an open and ruddy ings and church - meetings countenance, which lasted long and constant, although he had continu- faded but slowly, even after his ally pressing upon him the cares of health had begun to decline, and business and the deep solicitudes of his energy to abate. Some twenty a numerous family. Such continued years before his death, he was to be his course until advancing attacked with violent and distressing years and failing health compelled paroxysms of laborious breathing, him in some degree to relax in these which for a time appeared to defy respects. There were few modes of the skill of the physician. In time, supporting and promoting the cause however, the complaint, whatsoever of Christ in connection with the it might be, so far yielded to medical church of which he was a member treatment that the attacks became which he did not attempt. He both less frequent and less violent; superintended the Sunday-school, yet it was never entirely eradicated, took a leading part in the prayer- but showed itself atintervals through meetings, and occasionally gave a the whole of after life. Mentally word of exhortation. A few years be- our brother was respectable. He fore his death, a number of his friends was neither brilliant nor profound, invited him to meet them at a social but sufficiently clear and solid to gathering in the school-room, when make him a competent tradesman, they took the opportunity of pre- and a useful member of the church. senting him with a beautifully bound Probably he would have been the copy of Spurgeon's 'Saint and his better for somewhat more of early Saviour,' together with a pair of education, the lack of which he silver-mounted spectacles, as a small never had opportunity afterwards to token of their esteem, and as an supply. Still the good man's mind acknowledgment of his long and was far from being eitherunfurnished faithful labours in the Sunday- or unimproved. He was a thoughtschool. One department of service ful man, and he took care to provide in which our friend was long useful material for thought. He was an was that of leader of the choir. habitual reader of the holy ScripFor this he was well fitted as much tures, and he brought their ability by grace as by nature. He was to make wise unto salvation, to the gifted with a fine voice on the one test of his own experience. He hand, and with deep and fervent most firmly confided alike in the devotional feeling on the other. divinity and the saving efficacy of He sang with the spirit and with the Gospel. His well worn copy

of the understanding also. It must the Scriptures had its appointed not be passed over that for many place in the house near his usual years the subject of this brief notice seat, so that it could be readily served the church in the office of taken up on the occurrence of an deacon; and until within a few interval of leisure. Then there is months of his decease was treasurer good reason to believe that he was to the church. In fact he lived at once an attentive and a reflective under the habitual sense of obliga- bearer of the Word, not captious and tion to Christ. He felt that he critical on the one side, nor un. owed everything to his Saviour, enquiring on the other. and he was desirous to consecrate heed both how he heard and what himself and his best services to his he heard. It was his want frequently

He took

[ocr errors]

Obituary-Mr. Thomas Norlon.


during the week to ruminate on the was that steps were taken to compel discourses of the preceding Lord's. payment, and our friend firmly but day. What were his babits of patiently allowed a portion of his private devotion and upon what stock-in-trade to be sold by auction rules he acted relative to them can- | in open market to meet the demand. not here be told, because they were However, there was apparent in the private, and he did not proclaim temperament of our friend a much and emblazon them; but kept them stronger tendency to yield than to between bimself and his Heavenly resist in circumstances in which it Father who sees in secret and re- could consistently be done. In some wards openly. That this servant of instances perhaps he was scarcely God cultivated habitual piety, none active and enterprizing enough. who knew him will question. His. As might be expected his habitual prevailing state of mind was calm, frame of feeling was tranquil and yet firm, gentle, and cheerful. happy, and even in later years when That he was the subject of human feebleness and infirmity were eviinfirmity and imperfection perhaps dently gaining ground upon him, no one was more sensible than him- he seldom appeared to suffer much self. Yet it is certain that whatever from mental anxiety or depression might be his constitutional weak- of spirits. This could not have ness or most easily besetting sins, been the result of exemption from they were so dealt with, that the the cares of business, domestic subject of them was not very fre- solicitudes, or personal trials, all quently betrayed into impropriety who knew him must be aware that either in temper or conduct. With he had his full share of all these. out doubt he was himself so far But he knew whom he had believed, sensible of short-coming before a aud felt that he had committed. his heart-searching God as to be con- all to Him who is able to keep it strained to walk humbly with Him. against that day; and there is good Notwithstanding, it is readily ad. reason to conclude that he lived initted that the character now under under the advantage of an abiding review was far from absolute per- assurance of his interest in Christ fection, we are still bound in equity and of his consequent acceptance with to say, that it would be well for the God. Hence the steadiness of his church, and indeed for the world trust gave proportionate equanimity too, if the generality of professing to his course. Mr. Norton, though Christians approached as near it as a cheerful companion, was not lo. he did. Brother Norton was one of quacious, nor was he very com. those who follow after the things municative relative to what was that make for peace, and who en. strictly personal, so that usually he deavour though they may not in said but little, probably too little in every case succeed in their en- some instances of his weal or his deavours, to live peaceably with all woe, his pains or his pleasures, his men; and it must have been very joys or his sorrows. It is doubtless rarely that he deviated from con- sometimes a relief to the oppressed ciliatory counsels or pacific measures. spirit, to disburden itself by free Nevertheless, he could be firm, not and confidential converse with a only in the defence of a good cause, faithful and sympathizing friend. but in resistance of what he deemed It will be easily seen that such a an evil one. One instance in which man as the subject of our remarks this was shown may here be men. would be best understood and most tioned: he was fully satisfied in his fully appreciated by those whose own mind that church rates are an acquaintance with him was someunjust and oppressive impost, in- what close and extended ; by such imical alike to the spirit and letter he was highly esteemed. Still he of christianity, he accordingly re- was generally respected and bad a solved not to pay them. The result | good report of them which are without. However, his judgment only in tones and terms of parental is with the Lord before whom he / affection, but with the wisdom and walked. For a considerable period faithfulness of a Christian, and in before his death it was but too a manner suited to the case of each. evident that our brother was rapidly The entire scene was most pathetic declining in health and strength, a and fitted to touch the hearts of all, fact which was observed with much but especially of the parties more anxiety by his family and friends. particularly concerned. That heart The keepers of the house trembled, that could resist its influence must and the strong man bowed himself. be hard indeed. May we not hope His last illness though painful was that though the fruit appears not as short. He was in his place at the yet, it will one day spring forth and Lord's-table on the first Sunday in ripen in the salvation of those whose October, 1863, for the last time. present and eternal welfare the Shortly afterwards the writer and a dying parent so much desired. His friend from a distance made him a language, half prayerful, half gratupassing call. After leaving him the latory, was Let me die the death of the friend remarked how very feeble he righteous, and let my last end be like appeared, a circumstance which I, his. After this he said but little, being more familiar with him, had but gradually became weaker and not particularly noticed. However, weaker until the weary wheels of the very next day, he was seized life stood still, and he was absent from with his fatal and final attack, which the body to be present with the Lord. from the first left but slight hope of The interment took place at Cauldrecovery. Its symptoms were such well, in the graveyard attached to as to show that nature was so far the chapel, where many years before exhausted as to be unable to rally. he had put on the Lord Jesus Christ In the early part of his illness he by being baptized into Him. He is seemed to suffer more from a general laid but a few yards from the spot restlessness of the system, than where he drew his first breath, and from actual pain in any particular where he awaits the hour when the part, so that on one occasion he ex- trumpet shall sound, and the dead pressed himself as being almost shall be raised. The solemn event tired out. Yet he did not repine, was improved by the pastor of the but in his patience possessed he his church in the hearing of a large soul. It may be recorded as one of congregation, from Revelation xiv. the most impressive and affecting 13. May survivors learn not to be scenes it was ever my lot to witness slothful, but followers of them, who when his children came in succession through faith and patience inherit the to his dying bed, and he spoke to promises. them like a departing patriarch, not



Rev. H. Wilkinson, Travelling

Secretary of the Foreign Mission, THE YORKSHIRE CONFERENCE was preached. held at Bradford, Tetley - street, The Conference for business as. September 8th, 1863.

sembled in the afternoon at two In the morning public service o'clock. Rev. C. Clark opened the commenced at half-past ten o'clock, meeting with prayer, and Rev. B. Rev. T. Gill, of Shore, read the Wood, minister of the place preScriptures and prayed; and the sided. From many of the churches

[blocks in formation]

very encouraging reports were re- It was also resolved :ceived, from which it appeared that 1. That the cordial thanks of forty-one had been baptized since this Conference be presented to the the last Conference and a large Rev. J. B. Pike for his excellent number remained candidates for sermon delivered this morning; and baptism. After the singing of the as this will probably be the last doxology the following resolutions time of our brother's assembling were adopted.

with us as a Conference, we deem it 1. That the minutes read be a suitable opportunity of expressing passed.

our sincere regret at his removal 2. That the treasurer of the from this district, and at the same Leeds Relief Committee hold the time of testifying that his genial small balance he has in hand till and brotherly disposition, his broad the next Conference.

sympathies and catholic spirit, his 3. That Rev. R. Ingham, Tod- eminent ministerial abilities, and morden Vale, be our representative his constant promptitude in fulfilling at the Committee Meeting of the all public engagements, have renForeign Mission, and in case of dered his intercourse with us during failure Rev. B. Wood, of Bradford. I the last sixteen years always wel.

4. That we grant from the Home come and profitable. We affectionMission Fund to the friends at Den- ately commend him to the guidance holme towards the erection of a new of the chief shepherd, and earnestly chapel the sum of £100 to be dis- pray that wherever bis future tributed over four years.

ministry may be exercised, the 5. That we give to the friends at divine benediction may abundantly Edgeside towards the building of a rest upon him. new place of worship £50 from the 2. That the next Conference be Home Mission Fund to be spread held at Wisbech, on Thursday, over four years.

December 10th, and that brother 6. That brethren J. Rhoads and Horsfield, of Louth, be requested J. Barker be the auditors of the to preach in the morning. Home Mission accounts.

In the evening a good Home 7. That the next Conference be Missionary meeting was held, when held at Halifax, December 29th, addresses

delivered by and that Rev. C. Springthorp preach brethren Sharman, Cookson, Horsin the morning.

field, Pike, and the Secretary: 0. HARGREAVES, Sec.

THOMAS BARRASS, Sec. THE LINCOLNSHIRE CONFERENCE was held at Coningsby, on Thursday, September 24th, 1863.

THE CHESHIRE CONFERENCE was held In the morning brother Cookson at Stoke-upon-Trent, on Tuesday, read and prayed, and brother Pike October 6th, 1863. preached from 1 Cor. iii. 21-23. The Rev. Thomas Phillips, Baptist

At the meeting in the afternoon minister of Burslem, preached the the reports from of the morning sermon from 2 Cor. v. churches were presented, and were 13-15. The congregation rather discouraging, as only three rather larger than on some former had been baptized by them since the occasions. last Conference while seventeen re- The brethren met for business at mained candidates for baptism. half-past two in the afternoon, when

An application having been re- the chair'was taken by the Rev. W. ceived from the church at Walker- Taylor, minister of the place. gate, Louth, requesting admission From the reports of the churches into this Conference, it was unani- / we learn that our additions by mously resolved, that this re. baptism since last Conference have quest be complied with.

been very few, numbering nine only.




[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »