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Situated among friends by whom he was so highly esteemed, no merely human consideration could have induced Mr. Rodgers to leave a place where he was both useful and happy. But he had for several years felt an earnest desire to be engaged in some department of foreign service; and when he had resided about two years at Crickhowel, a way appeared to be presented for the gratification of his wish. The Trustees of the “ Mico Charity” having résolved on establishing schools in the West Indies for the benefit of the Negro apprentices and their children, an application was made to Mr. Rodgers to become a labourer in the important establishment. He received the application as providential. Had he only looked at his own personal comfort, that, in connexion with useful labour, he enjoyed at Crickhowel. But he regarded this call as from God. He had long wished to have the opportunity of imparting religious instruction to those who were perishing for lack of knowledge; and believing that his way was now open and clear before him, he consented to the application, and prepared to leave Crickhowel.
. On this occasion he received very honourable testimonials as to his personal character and useful services. One was from the Vicar, who says.--" In bearing my testimony to the character of Mr. Rodgers, I can truly say I have not, in the course of my ministerial experience, met with any person of whom I entertain a higher opinion. With great zeal and unwearied diligence in the cause of religion, he united genuine humility, prudence, and deference to those in authority, together with every quality calculated to promote the objects of good government, as well as the salvation of souls. There is no situation of trust, however great or sacred its responsibilities, which I could not commit to him, with a well-grounded assurance that he would discharge its duties with conscientious fidelity, on the principles of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. While in my parish, not only has he been signally blessed in the immediate department of the schools in which he laboured, but generally throughout the circle in which he moved ; and, I may add, even beyond it, his example of pious and prudent devotion, his faith, hope, and charity, have exercised a very salutary influence. Wherever he goes, I feel a happy confidence that he will prove a blessing to those amongst whom he may labour. Most heartily do I commend him to the kind offices of all who are in authority, and of all who seek the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom."
Another was furnished him by the Magistrates of the district. They say,“ We most readily bear our testimony to the higbly satisfactory manner in which Mr. James Rodgers bas discharged the duties of his station, as instructer of youth in our neighbourhood. We believe him to be a person of strictly moral and religious character, and can recommend him to the authorities of any place in which he may be situated, as one admirably calculated to promote social order, and the best interests of his fellow-creatures.”
A third, from a number of the inhabitants of the place, says, “ We beg to testify our great esteem for Mr. James Rodgers, who, by his inoffensive manners, strict integrity, and the great moral good he has effected during his residence here, has endeared himself to all classes in this town and neighbourhood."
An extract from the Resolutions of the Crickhowel Infant-School Committee may be added :-“The Committee and subscribers desire to record their regret at the loss the school is about to suffer in the removal of Mr. James Rodgers; and to express their belief that no pains have been spared on his part to forward the improvement of the children committed to his care. They beg, likewise, to offer their thanks for the handsome donation placed by Mr. Rodgers at the disposal of the subscribers for the benefit of the school."
All necessary arrangements having been made, he and his family, followed by the kind wishes and fervent prayers of his friends, embarked on board the brig“ Charlotte," July 22d, 1836, for the island of Jamaica, and landed there in safety, September 1st. On his arrival he took charge of the infant-school at the Mico Institution in Kingston; but was finally stationed at Bath, in the parish of St. Thomas in the East, and appointed General Inspector of the Mico schools in the county of Surrey. At Bath he soon succeeded in establishing an infant-school, in which the average attendance of children was seventy; and an evening and Sunday school, at which there were generally nearly two hundred present. Besides these, he had opened a week-evening school on Holland estate, that was numerously attended. He designed opening several others; but his days were numbered, and he was not spared to see the plans which he had formed carried into execution.
A person of Mr. Rodgers's disposition, and ability, and character, if permitted to live, would have proved a great blessing to religious society, and to the inhabitants of Bath and its vicinity. It was on the writer's appointment to the Bath Circuit, that he was favoured with a personal acquaintance with him. This was an acquaintance he highly appreciated, and for which he will ever be grateful. The Rev. Samuel Simmons, who was the resident Missionary previously, had placed an unreserved confidence in him; and, on leaving the Circuit to attend the District-Meeting, held in Kingston, in January, 1837, he committed to his care those society matters which required immediate attention. This confidence was not misplaced ; for, on the arrival of Mr. Simmons's successor, he found that Mr. Rodgers had exerted bimself both strenuously and successfully for the purpose of keeping all things in good order.
* In connexion with the Wesleyan-Methodist society at Bath, he • sustained several important offices of trust, all of which he fulfilled
with much credit to himself, and advantage to the people. By his musical skill and attention, the singing of the Bath congregation was greatly improved. Indeed, he was ever ready to afford his aid to any plan that would tend to promote the best interests of men, Never was he absent from the house of God, if it were possible for him to be present. So regular was his attendance on all the ordinances of religion, that if he were not seen in his pew, it was quite customary for the friends to say, “ Mr. Rodgers is not here : something must be the matter." Whatever he saw to be his duty, no consideration or circumstance could keep him from doing. His anxious soul never seemed at rest unless he was actively engaged in striving to increase the happiness of mankind, and to show forth the praises of his God. It was most evidently his “meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father.” In every state or society in which he was seen, he sustained the same interesting, cheerful, unassuming, open-hearted, and consistent character. He was “an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile.” By persons of every rank in the neighbourhood, he was deservedly esteemed ; and the tears which flowed from the eyes of the apprentices and their children, when they heard of his death, showed that they well knew how to value and love one, who had manifested such an intense interest in their welfare, and laboured so abundantly to do them good. Without any exaggeration, it may be said, that all who knew Mr. Rodgers, loved him; and those who knew him best, loved him most. · Bath, in general, is considered so unhealthy, that, for several years past, there has been an understanding in the District-Meeting, that no Preacher should be required to reside there more than one year. The season this year (1837) has been unusually sickly; and there is scarcely a single person residing here, whether white, black, or coloured, who has not been either more or less the subject of the country fever. On the 7th of August, Mr. Rodgers felt himself unwell, and had recourse to medicine, which gave him present relief; so that on the following Sabbath he conducted the singing in the chapel both morning and evening. Still he was very weak and restless, and complained of the want of appetite. Rest from his labours for a wbile appeared to be absolutely necessary to his recovery; but this he refused to take, owing to his great anxiety to attend to the duties of his calling. Shortly after, Mrs. and Miss Rodgers became seriously ill, the friends of the latter despairing of her life. Few parents were ever more affectionate than himself; and the sight of the sufferings of those whom he so tenderly loved, greatly affected his spirito The solicitude he felt for their restoration, and his attention to them, would not allow him to take any thought for himself; and consequently he was reduced to such, a state, that, while standing by the bedside, and looking at Miss'. Rodgers, his feelings were completely overpowered, and he fell to the ground. .
The medical gentleman who had been attending his family, seeing there was little prospect of his recovery, except he were removed to another house, advised an immediate change. He was accordingly taken to the Wesleyan Mission-House. In this arrangement he cheerfully acquiesced, and appeared grateful, not thinking that his affliction would be “ unto death.”
Having now an opportunity to take rest and medicine, he seemed composed and happy. His medical attendant, and all the friends who were present, thought he was in a fair way to do well. The next day was Sunday, and the chapel being close to the dwelling-house, he asked the officiating Minister on what text he was going to preach. The reply was, “ Unto you therefore which believe he is precious." He lifted his hands, and observed, “It is a blessed text;" and added, “Do preach as loud as you can, that I may bear you.” He continued in the same state till Tuesday, 22d, no one thinking that he was so near his end, and all cherishing the hope of a speedy restoration. After breakfast on Tuesday morning, he talked freely to the writer of this memoir, and remarked to him how greatly he was indebted to the grace of God, both in regard to himself and family. “ If,” said her (referring to Mrs., Miss, and Mr. W. Rodgers, who had all been near death,) “ the Lord had taken them away, I should have been resigned to his will, and I believe they would have got safe to heaven ; for they have found the mercy of God, and are saved by his grace. As it respects myself,” he added, “ if I had not looked to God, and trusted in him, when in health, I feel I am so weak and depressed in this sickness, that I could not do it now. But all is right: I have no fear of death; and if I die, I know it will be well with me.”.
Immediately afterwards, some nourishment having been brought to him, he raised himself up in bed as usual, but said, “I am very weak: I will thank you to help me.” Help was afforded without delay; but in an instant he fainted, became speechless, and apparently insensible. Additional medical aid was called in, and in the evening a favourable change seemed to have taken place; but the disease was too powerful, and at six o'clock the next morning he died “in the Lord;" thus resting from his “labours ;” and we believe that “ his works do follow him.” And who could witness his peaceful end, without praying, “ Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his ? "
It will be readily allowed, that Mr. Rodgers was not without his failings, for he was only a human creature; but they were scarcely seen, even by an observant eye. His Christian virtues, on the contrary, were always visible. He was a kind and attentive husband, and an affectionate parent, ruling “ well his own house." By his death the apprentices of this district have been deprived of an assiduous, disinterested, and sincere friend ; the Managers of the Mico Institution, of one of their most active, able, and worthy agents; and the WesleyanMethodist society at Bath, of a conscientious and upright member, a faithful Steward, diligent Leader, and a zealous and useful Local Preacher.
In the sudden and apparently untimely removal of one so eminently qualified to be useful from such a sphere of labour, there appears to finite minds something bordering on mystery, his sun having “ gone down while it was yet noon.” It is, however, written for our comfort, “ The righteous is taken away from the evil to come ;” and on the declaration of Him who is too wise to err we may safely rest : “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter,”
MEMOIR OF MRS. CATIIERINE COLLET,
Of St. Austell, Cornwall :
BY THE REV. HENRY W. WILLIAMS. The subject of the following memoir, though she moved in the humbler walks of life, was regarded with general interest and respect in the town in which she lived. Her uniform piety, and her well-known usefulness in the visitation of the afflicted, secured to her the esteem of all around her; and many were instructed and encouraged by witnessing the grace of God in her, during that long and severe affliction which terminated her earthly course. It is hoped that the following attempt to describe her religious experience may not be uninteresting or uninstructive.
Mrs. Catherine Collet was born at St. Austell, in Cornwall, in April, 1789. Of the early strivings of the Holy Spirit with her mind, we have no particular information ; but it appears, that the first twenty years of her life were spent without the personal experience of the saving grace of God. In the year 1810 she was deeply convinced of her sinful state, and sought the Lord with tears. Her transgressions appeared to her view in their character of guilt and vileness, and she was led to “abhor herself, and repent in dust and ashes.” In this state of penitential distress, while engaged in the public worship of God, she was enabled to fly to Christ for refuge, and “received the Spirit of adoption.” Often, during her subsequent religious course, did she advert, with emotions of gratitude to God, to the place and circumstances of that happy change which she then experienced. Her mind had been labouring under the burden of her guilt, she had felt a deep and overwhelming sense of the opposition between her polluted soul and the holiness of the Most High ; but when, as the worship of God proceeded, her distress became the deepest, and she seemed on the verge of despair, it was suggested to her mind, “ Christ died for sinners,” she inwardly responded, “He did not die for me;" and thus, at the first, she drew back from that act of appropriating trust in