MEMOIR OF HANNAH, WIFE OF ROBERT ESK,
(Of Flaxton, in the York Circuit)
Hannah Esk was born in May, 1799, at Appleton, near Malton; was moral in her character, and in 1819 was married to R. Esk.
In 1826 she was induced to attend a P. M. lovefeast at Harton, where she got a serious concern for salvation, and fell into deep distress of soul. Her husband opposed; but one day in the fields so great an impression came on his mind, that he cried, “Lord have mercy on me.” And he thought if he himself would not go to heaven, it was hard to drag his wife to hell.
She was immovable; and sought the Lord in deep distress for two or three weeks; and, attending at Flaxton, when Brother R. France preached there for the first time, she, in the prayer meeting, cried for mercy; and after some time got into faith and obtained the pearl of great price. Her husband also obtained liberty at the same meeting.
She joined our society, and continued a steady upright member to the day of her death. Her house became a place of entertainment for the ministers of Christ, and it remains so at the present time. And she was ever willing to lend her aid to helping on the cause of Zion. Her example in attending to relative duties was exemplary: and her punctuality at the means of grace was great; and in prayer she had much power with God.
She was attentive to family worship; and if her husband was from home, she would perform the duty herself. In such cases she called in the labourers and all; and as they held a pretty large farm, the family was numerous.
In darkness, temptations, and trials of all kinds, she appeared to trust in the Lord with strong confidence, and was for pressing forward in her Christian course. Her leader says he cannot remember a time when he had reason to think she had lost her first love. And her husband says she had always a fear of coming short at last.
Her last affliction was severe; she was confined twelve months, at times in great pain; but in patience she possessed her soul. Her leader observes, that in visiting her, he always found her at peace with God.
During the latter part of her illness she grew much in grace. Her treasure and her heart were in heaven; and when asked of the state of her mind, she would ex press her desire for greater measures of grace.
On the Sunday night previous to her death, she gave her children to the Lord; and, calling for the servants, she, with earnestness and energy, exhorted them to be careful about their souls’ salvation; and raising herself up a little in bed, she said, “The Lord has given me strength, like Jacob of old, to give my children a blessing before I die.” She called her children one by one, and said she was about to leave them, and exhorted them to be good, obey their father, and meet her in heaven. She then offered up fervent prayers in their behalf, and dismissed them from her bedside.
The thought of meeting her eldest daughter in heaven, (who died with a blooming hope of glory, eight months before her,) was often a source of consolation, when near the close of life.
January 23, 1838, her leader visiting her for the last time, found her in full prospect of eternal life; and with a feeble voice, exclaiming, “Glory, glory, glory.” And she said, “I had six children, but I have given them all to the Lord.” Many of the neighbours visited her, to whom she preached Christ, strongly recommending religion to them. One asking how she was, she said, “I am going to heaven.” Her neighbour said, “I hope we shall all meet in heaven, Mrs. Esk.” She replied, “You must be very faithful. It is not sitting upon a stool or chair and uttering a few words will get you there.”
Her husband enquiring the state of her mind, she said,” Its victory! victory through the blood of the Lamb.”
January 24, 1838, she died in the full triumph of faith; and the last word she was heard to utter was, “Glory.” Her death was improved by the writer of this account, to a numerous and affected congregation, Feb. 11,1838.
As a wife, she was affectionate and obedient; much beloved by her husband, who with heart-wrung sorrow laments his loss. — As a mother, she was kind, loving, and dutiful, and much reverenced by her children. — As a member of society she was a useful character, — a zealous Christian, — a pattern of piety, and her loss is much lamented in the church.
(Approved by the Quarter Meeting.)
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 347-349.
Transcribed by David Tonks