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unhappy state ; but the second year it pleased God to revive his work, in promoting which she took an active part, praying with awakened persons, and advising new converts. On one occasion the service began at seven o'clock in the evening; many sinners were awakened, and many mourners found consolation. In this season of great mercy she was fully employed in praying with the distressed, or ministering comfort to the sorrowful. Her husband requested her to retire, lest she should injure herself by her great exertions ; but she begged him to let her stay till midnight. In this earnestness in the delightful work of leading sinners to the Saviour, she had not noticed the swiftness of the passing hours, and was surprised at being informed that it was then near two in the morning. She had been seven hours in the chapel.
A similar account might be given of her in Hull, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, &c.; in all which places her deportment was in accordance with her profession, and with the truth. In every place she was highly esteemed by those who knew her, and who were bound for a better world, on account of the benefit they received from her conversation and example.
Although her constitution was always tender and delicate, she had very little sickness through life. Under the blessing of God, her early rising and temperance and regularity of life contributed not a little to promote her health, and prolong her days.
A few weeks before her last illness, in conversing with a friend to whom she had related a recent gracious manifestation of the Lord to her soul, she said, “I shall not be long here : every night when I go to bed I commit myself to God; and am quite easy in my mind, whether I wake in this world or the next.”
When taken ill, September 1st, 1832, her pain was great, and was continued till towards evening, when it was relieved by medicine. She was asked if the Saviour was precious to her soul; to which she answered, “ Yes; very precious !” She was likewise asked if she could trust, and not be afraid. She unhesitatingly replied, “Yes, I can.” At another time she was asked if she had any pain. She said, “ No; I am quite
September 2d. To a friend who expressed her concern at seeing her so ill, she said, “It is all right, my dear; it is quite right; it is all well.” The same friend inquired if she was happy in God. She replied, “ Happy, sweetly happy.” Such was the drowsiness in which she was kept by the medicines that were administered, and such the extreme weakness of her body, that she could not say much at any time during her affliction.
On Saturday, the 8th, between six and seven o'clock she changed for the worse; she could take no nourishment, and was evidently sinking into the arms of death. On Sunday morning she breathed her last, and entered on an eternal Sabbath with her Saviour. One who was present at her death could scarcely think of any thing but these words :
“Go, by angel guards attended,
To the sight of Jesus go.” The following character was drawn up by my highly esteemed friend, the Rev. Joseph Taylor :
Converted to God in early life, her mind received then a direction greatly favourable to the improvement of her understanding. Brought off from the triling and vanity to which the want of piety and the evils of surrounding example expose young persons, she acquired, with religion, habits of reading, of observation, and of industry, which accompanied her through life. Early rising, so advantageous to health and to the improvement of the mind, was then almost universal among the members of Mr. Wesley's societies. The five o'clock preaching greatly tended to promote it; and the habit thus acquired by Mrs. Wood was never lost. To the last week but one of her life she breakfasted regularly soon after six in the morning. The time redeemed by this and other means she improved to much intellectual and spiritual advantage. Her reading was instructive and devotional, and the source of much enjoyment, even to the period of her greatest weakness. The ministry of the word was thus rendered more profitable to her, because better understood, and its impression more deep and permanent; and, on a mind thus imbued with truth, devotional exercises have the most salutary influence. Materials are thus supplied for meditation, prayer, and thanksgiving
The situation in life into which divine Providence directed her was, with some inconveniences, favourable to the improvement of her observant mind. Mingling mostly with religious characters, in the various situations of life which they occupy, and well able to discriminate as to worth, and to profit by what she saw, her mind was stored with facts which she improved to the edification of herself and of others. Her judgment of persons was seldom incorrect. Her industry was habitual. If alone, she had her work and her book; if conversing with others in company, her hands were employed. Persons not acquainted with her would be surprised at the detail of the fruits of her industry. Her domestic affairs were attended to with an order which enabled her to perform every duty, religious and social, in its most suitable time. Avoiding that nicety and particularity, which form a spare to the tempers of some good women, and from which she, koowing where her weakness lay, felt special danger, Mrs. Wood attended to everything in her own house, as in the church of God,“ decently and in order."
The piety of our deceased friend was evidenced through a period of more than sixty years, and in every part of the church in which her lot was cast, she was respected and loved ; and her Christian character highly esteemed, as exhibiting, in all the relations of life, an example becoming the wife of a Christian Minister.
One who knew her best, gives this testimony to her sincerity and uprightness : “ She detested hypocrisy, guile, dissimulation, and equivo. cation. She answered to the charge of the poet,
Thy heart be true to God,
Thy actions to them both.' Truth, unadulterated truth, except from failure of memory, marked her whole conduct in life in all her intercourse with her fellow-mortals. If at any time she was convinced of having erred in opinion or speech, no person could be more ready to acknowledge with frankness the mistake ; and this line of conduct she invariably recommended to children and young persons, to whom she had access.'
Her faith and love were those of God's elect people. They were exemplified by the fruit of the Spirit, not only in its peace and joy, but in its “ long suffering, gentleness, goodness, and meekness.” Against such there is no law; and therefore she walked in the comfort of the Holy Ghost. Her views of that faith by which sinners are justified, and the justified live to God, were clear and encouraging. The blood of atonement, and the intercession of Jesus, were the ground of her dependence for acceptance at the throne of grace ; and through Him she had access, as it were, into the immediate presence of the Most High. She knew that, while none of her endeavours could recommend, none of her failings needed to hinder, her direct and earnest approach to the throne. Her applications were simple and fervent, and the Holy Spirit helped her infirmity. The declarations and promises of the Gospel were daily read and resorted to by her, and formed her constant directory. She had witnessed in such a number of instances the commencement and progress of the religion of Christ, as greatly to confirm her faith, and enlarge her views. To live in the church, and be instructed and cheered by its prosperity, are great helps to personal piety and comfort. “ Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bring forth fruit in old age.”
Her love to God's ordinances was strong, and manifested through her whole religious life. When her feeble steps could scarcely conduct her to his house she was, except when unavoidably prevented, always in her place at the commencement of the service. She deemed it no small offence to disturb the devotion of other persons by going into the sanctuary of God during divine worship. She was always before-hand with her domestic duties; and thus preserved from anxious care, and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, was better fitted to attend upon the Lord without distraction. Latterly her venerable appearance, surrounded as she used to be in her pew, with the middle-aged and the young, of the second, third, and fourth generations, was an interesting object. To her own mind religious ordinances were rendered greatly profitable. She expected a blessing in them, and waited on God for it; and was not disappointed. Their healthful influence was carried by her into ordinary life ; and her communion with God in private was greatly assisted by the
times of refreshing from his presence in social worship. None who love God's ordinances fail to profit by them. “ Blessed are they that dwell in thy house ; they will be still praising thee.”
As a member of the church of Christ, the late Mrs. Wood adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour. In the difficult stations in which she was often placed in large societies, and as a Minister's wife, her conduct was prudent and exemplary. She was never mixed up with the dislikes and petty disputes which sometimes occur among professors. If she had to expostulate or reprove, it was with love and dignity; and, in reference to all such cases, her conduct was eminently that of a peace-maker. Some years after her marriage Mr. Wesley was expected to visit the societies in the town and Circuit where her husband was then stationed. The two families whose circumstances enabled them to receive Mr. Wesley on such occasions had been for some time at variance, but each was anxious, to the entire exclusion of the other, to entertain the expected guest. Mrs. Wood, with the concurrence of her husband, determined to attempt a reconciliation, and obtained Mr. Wesley's ready consent to make her humble dwelling his home during his visit ; she then prevailed on the heads of the two families to partake with her guest of such entertainment as her house could afford; and had the pleasure of witnessing their mutual disappointment, and the renewal of their friendly intercourse.
Mrs. Wood took an active part in promoting the religious benefit of the children and young persons of her own sex, with whom she was surrounded. While strength admitted, she met in several Circuits a number of children, to catechise them in the first principles of Christianity, and impress their minds with a sense of the importance of eternal things. Many good impressions were made on individuals, which happily kept them from the common snares and temptations of youth. The judicious manner in which ber instruction was conveyed or reproof given, won the affections of the children, and begat in them a high esteem of their instructress. The management of her own children proved her happy talent for training them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It was her aim to amuse and instruct them at the same time; to teach them to view reading, not as a task, but a privilege ; and she has been known to refuse hearing them read as a punishment of some trivial offence. On the same principle she never took them to the chapel as a correction for a fault, but as a favour, or a reward of good behavicur. In conversing with young females she constantly aimed to impress their minds with the importance of eternal things, and to represent dress as a badge of transgression ; and the love of finery and fashion as a sad proof of indulged depravity of heart. Many have profited by her counsel. Young persons greatly respected and loved her. The kind concern and attention which she manifested to promote their best interests, and the manner of her intercourse with them, engaged their hearts, and seemed to remove all the disparity of years, except so far as it secures deference and gives weight to instruction. She was admirably qualified
thus to teach. Delicacy in sentiment and in practice uniformly appeared in all her conduct. There was no rudeness, no vulgarity, nothing mean or degrading, in her social intercourse; but actions which manifested respect for superiors, affectionate regard for friends, and cordial sympathy with such as were in heaviness through manifold temptations. Whatever tended in books or conversation to profanity or indelicacy, was rebuked or checked by her ; as also was any apparent want of reverence for the word of God or his ordinances. She had a nice sense of propriety in dress and demeanour, and was herself an example of that propriety. In old age her person and manners were graceful and endearing ; and to venerate and love her, it was only needful to be in her company.. Long experience and habits of observation had made her skilful to exemplify religion, and to teach and admonish.
Mrs. Wood was one of those old disciples whose comfort is augmented by every instance of conversion or devotedness to God, with which they may be surrounded. She had no fellow-feeling with those who, because themselves can no longer be active agents in the church, yield to the temptation that “the former days were better than these.” Those who witnessed her joy when the wicked were turning from the error of their way, and God was visiting and redeeming his people, will recollect in what manner, though here on earth, she shared the happiness felt, as the Scriptures teach, by the angels in heaven. And when no longer able to perform active service, she used attentively to observe, and with great discernment mark, those around her, wbo were receiving good impressions; and among the welcome invitations to call upon her, which the writer of these lines used to receive, the most frequent were to listen to her kind suggestions in reference to persons having become the subjects of gracious influence, or to the piety and gifts of some members of the society, not yet as active as they might become; suggestions in which every recollected fact showed that her judgment of the parties was entirely correct. Her free and affectionate intercourse with those around her endeared her to them, and they were delighted to contribute to her comfort. Such intercourse, taken in connexion with her habits of early rising, of order, and of diligence, maintained on evangelical principles, and sanctified to God, as they all were, contributed to render the last stages of life's journey easy; and while she looked up to God as the spring of all her joys, she gratefully blessed him for all the way in which he had conducted her. Her tranquil and thankful state of mind continued on the bed of death, so that she felt and could say, while “ going the way of all the earth,” “ I have all and abound.” “O how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee!”
The Christian benevolence and generosity of Mrs. Wood were in keeping with the other excellencies of her character. Cases in Christian society are not unfrequent, in which those who, having been compelled by their limited means, on their first becoming religious, to manage with rigid economy, neglect, as their means increase, to enlarge their