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resolutions. One of these is as follows:-“That this Meeting feels a deep sense of grateful obligation to the Rev. Thomas Morgan, for his disinterested and affectionate solicitude, and generous support of the institution since its formation ; and, in common with the friends of every religious and benevolent institution in the island, this Meeting laments the intended departure of this gentleman, and sincerely prays that blessings spiritual and temporal may attend him wherever his future lot may be cast.”
Many friends accompanied Mr. Morgan to the ship that was to convey him from an interesting field of labour. They sang together the hymn beginning,
“From all that dwells below the skies,” prayed, and parted to meet no more on earth.
On his way to Jamaica he was obliged to linger for some time at the Danish island of St. Thomas. When he landed on this island he had, as usual, to report himself and company at the Judge's office. Upon its being understood that he was a Wesleyan Missionary, the head of the police observed, “The Methodist religion is not allowed here." “So I understand,” rejoined Mr. Morgan. But the spirit of this devoted Missionary was scarce to be restrained from proclaiming, at all hazards, the Gospel of God. He remarks, “ Were it not for prudential reasons, connected with my appointment to Jamaica, I should be willing to suffer for the Gospel's sake. Were it not for these reasons, I had rather be a prisoner in their fort, than hide my light under a bushel.”
Upon Mr. Morgan's arrival in Jamaica, he found that Mission involved in various calamities. That spirit of persecution was then at work, which has since accomplished deeds of darkness never to be forgotten. Two of his brethren were at that time immured in a loathsome prison, for the honourable crime of preaching the Gospel to the oppressed negroes. One of the Missionaries, the Rev. Thomas Charles Morgan, was just entering the valley of the shadow of death. The course of this devoted Missionary was brief, but bright and glorious. He died happy in God. He was personally known to the writer of this memoir, as a holy and useful man.
Though these circumstances were unpropitious, Mr. Morgan commenced his work with his usual fidelity and zeal. Having applied to the authorities for a license to preach, he was refused, and referred to the Sessions. Conscious, however, that he had discharged his duty in making the requisite application, he resolved to preach without delay. His first Sabbath in Jamaica was regarded by himself as a glorious day. The people were greatly blessed under his ministrations. A negress, some time afterwards, addressing Mr. Morgan, observed, “I have seen you before, Sir, on first Sunday when you scattered the blessings.” He prosecuted his work in Jamaica, cheered by large and serious congregations, by a numerous attendance on prayer-meetings, and early morning
services. He regarded the fields as white unto harvest, and fervently prayed for a revival of the work of God. Persecution continued to assail the spreading glory of Christianity in this island. Under date of December 17th, 1828, Mr. Morgan relates, “I see by one of the city papers, that part of the performance at the play-house to-morrow evening will be the Methodist Parson, More-gun, that is myself. I wish they would allow me to act in person. May we not hope that such efforts as these afford proof, that our labours are found bearing upon Satan's kingdom ? If so, all bail reproach !”
February 8th, 1829, he writes, “ This day seventeen years myself and wife landed in the West Indies. We are spared, while many of our fellow-labourers in this vineyard have been removed. Thirty-six Missionaries, with eleven Missionaries' wives, whom we well knew, have died in this time.”
He frequently felt a yearning pity for the slaves in the country parts of the island, who were denied almost entirely the means of religious instruction. Some of them were members of the Wesleyan society, and had no opportunity of receiving instruction froin their Ministers but when they came to the market in Kingston. Mr. Morgan thus writes :—" Feb. 28th, I met a few of our country members in the evening, and gave them tickets. They live about twenty-five miles from Kingston, and seldom come to the chapel. To-morrow, they say, they cannot attend, as they must journey homeward in the morning. O slavery!” He rejoiced in every effort to spread the light of Christianity in a land of slavery and darkness; and hence he writes, “March 21st, I called upon Mr. Burton, the Baptist Missionary, and was much gratified with the extraordinary exertions of this brother in building a large chapel and dwelling-house, for a sum not exceeding £700 currency. It is true the chapel is a slight building of wood, but it is very commodious, and well attended by negroes from the neighbouring estates.” So deep was the interest he felt in the welfare of the Mission, that every addition of labourers afforded by the Committee was hailed by him as a token for good. He thanked God, and took courage. On the same ground, when any of his brethren were afflicted, he felt not only for them and their families, but also for the ark of God.
His attachment to the rising generation led him, in Jamaica, not only to organize, but to superintend, a Sabbath-school himself on many occasions, in addition to his manifold engagements of another kind. A day-school was established under his direction, and shared his anxiety and effort for its utility and permanence.
While Mr. Morgan continued in Jamaica almost every possible device and effort were employed to bring the Missionaries and their work into contempt. Sometimes they were interrupted in their public assemblies for divine worship; sometimes the vilest abuse was heaped upon them by a hireling press; and sometimes local legislative enactments were procured, to embarrass or hinder them in their work. But all was unavailing. The enemies of Christianity mistook the character of the men employed, nearly as much as they overlooked the imperishable and indestructible character of Christianity itself. And, hence, in spite of their efforts, Mr. Morgan and his associates were steady to their purpose, diligent, and successful in their work; while the paternal care of the British Government at home, with numerous friends on the spot, crowded congregations at the chapels, hallowed sacramental opportunities, and, above all, the conversion of souls to God, secured to them, in some good degree, a present reward in the day of trouble.
Mr. Morgan, in an eminently fearless manner, had borne his public testimony against some of the crying sins of West Indian society. He had set some of their sins in too strong a light for those who were concerned; and hence some of his sermons were occasionally reported, in the public prints, with various misrepresentations, and with ridicule. This, however, gave him no pain, as he had long learned to esteem it an honour to suffer in a righteous cause.
About this period several slaves, members of the Wesleyan society, were commitled to prison, the head and front of whose offending was that they had too much religion,-a crime not common in Jamaica. They had, moreover, assembled to pray to God; and for this, in particular, they were threatened with the vengeance of the law. Mr. Morgan visited them, learned the particulars of their case, and made these public, to the consternation of their persecutors. He was threatened with the vengeance of a slave-holding colony. The threat, however, was not executed. Had it been carried into execution, “ the sturdy old fellow," as the jailor styled Mr. Morgan, “would have remained unmoved." His own words are, “I hear that application has been made to prosecute me for my interference in the case of the slave members in Kingston jail, who are charged with the Jamaica sin of praying to God. In case I am prosecuted, fined, and inprisoned, I shall count it all joy.” One of these poor slaves died in the jail. He was ill when sent to prison ; gradually became worse ; and at length, rejoicing that he was counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ, his freed spirit hastened to join the noble army of martyrs before the throne. The funeral of this slave was ata tended by the Missionaries, and a large number of persons of colour. The manner of his death, with the respect shown him at his funeral, served to confound the adversaries. Mr. Morgan was satisfied that good came out of this dispensation, and that further good would arise ; and hence he blessed God for the grace vouchsafed to these three worthies, as he styled them, and particularly for the triumphant end of his dear brother. Thus the wrath of man continually praises God, and the remainder he will restrain.
Through the death of several Missionaries the labour of Mr. Morgan in Jamaica was very extensive. He was frequently subject to attacks of fever, and several times had severe domestic affliction. The care of all the Wesleyan churches came upon him; and he watched over the whole
island for good, striving to make the Missions as efficient, and as little expensive, as possible. While thus engaged, he received the decided approbation of the Committee in London, conveyed to him in terms of great respect and affection. The various proofs of attachment and confidence which he received from his fathers and brethren, at home and abroad, often encouraged and humbled him.
After continuing about three years in Jamaica he wished to return home. His reason for doing so, he stated to be the attainment of renewed health and vigour, that he might again labour in the Western Isles. Adverting to the preservation he had experienced, he remarks, “ This day ten years we sailed the second time for the West Indies. It becomes us to be thankful, that God has spared me and my wife for so many years in a climate which has proved fatal to so many of our fellow-labourers. Perhaps we cannot express our feelings more properly than in the words of one of our hymns:-
Oft hath the sea confess'd thy power,
And given me back at thy command :
Safe in the hollow of thine hand.
• Oft from the margin of the grave,
Thou, Lord, hast lifted up my head;
The fever own'd thy touch, and Aed.'” Mr. Morgan finally left the West Indies, where he had laboured the greater part of eighteen years, April 25th, 1831. He left these interesting islands full of gratitude to God for his manifold mercy, and full of yearning pity for the souls of the oppressed race that peopled them.
His next and final appointment was Frome, in Somersetshire. He found this Circuit in comparatively low circumstances; but he was not so liable to discouragement as some men are. He gave himself to
para incore is the content of his literingend prayer, and exerted himself to the full extent of his ability, in eodeavouring to promote the cause of God. About this time he was frequently called upon to assist in those various meetings that afforded opportunity for bringing the circumstances of the slaves before the British public. His strict integrity, his minute acquaintance with the details of the system of slavery, his long residence in the West Indies, with his sound judgment, constituted him a good authority on all these subjects. He contributed his full share of effort towards exciting that sense of justice and mercy which roused a great and generous people to demand that the oppressed should go free.
Mr. Morgan's first year in Frome passed away with some comfort to himself, arising from the assistance he received while ministeriog in holy things, and from his general intercourse with a kind and affectionate people. At the Conference of 1832 the writer of this memoir became the colleague of this excellent man; and for nearly twelve months enjoyed uninterrupted and intimate friendship with him.
Though his constitution had received an irreparable shock, by his long residence in a tropical clime, yet he was active and diligent, and laboured beyond his strength to do good to the souls of men. As the Superintendent of this Circuit, Mr. Morgan exercised the discipline of Methodism with firmness and effect. He particularly enforced the necessity of attending class-meetings with regularity and diligence. All who did not he seriously admonished, and in some cases "removed their names from the class-books. The salutary exercise of discipline, with the employment of the efficient agencies of Methodism, produced, under the divine blessing, a pleasing change in the spiritual concerns of this Circuit; and it ministered comfort to him, that God was reviving his work, and opening to his church a pleasing prospect of spiritual prosperity. About eight months before Mr.Morgan's removal to a better world, he had a severe attack of pulmonary disease, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. Yet he soon resumed his wonted labour, and though often distressed with languor and febrile symptoms, he persevered in his preaching labours, until within a few days of his death. He held the standard of the cross with a tenacious grasp; and nothing but the utmost severity of affliction, or the stroke of death, could unloose his hold.
As the Conference of 1833 approached, he entertained the hope of being equal to the duties of a moderate Circuit; and thought, if he could be favoured with a situation near the sea, it would be of service to him, as, in his opinion, his health and strength were improving. He was about to leave the Frome Circuit, where he was respected and beloved. The members of the last Quarterly-Meeting he attended in that Circuit, presented him with a very respectful and affectionate vote of thanks for his services, and expressed their high satisfaction with the whole of his conduct since he had laboured among them. Some of his friends thought it would be best, as the only means of preserving his valuable life, for him to desist from the work of a Circuit for a year or two. This was delicately intimated to him. He, however, thought differently. His quenchless zeal urged him to die, with sword in hand ; and the Almighty, in his adorable wisdom and goodness, delivered his honoured servant from the unpleasant sensation of a comparatively inactive life, and granted him an answer to the petition,
“My body with my charge lay down,
And cease at once to work and live."
About a fortnight before his death he preached his last sermon in Frome from 2 Cor. x. 4,5. It was a faithful and rousing sermon. Many were affected, and one in particular became decided for God. A few days afterwards he delivered an interesting anti-slavery speech, in which he expressed a wish that the slave might have been freed at once: His