MEMOIR OF ROBERT BARLOW
Robert Barlow was born in Oldham, in 1778. In early life he was much addicted to sports and pleasures, living without hope and without God in the world.
His uncle, Henry Barlow, being afflicted, was visited by many praying people; and Bro. James Wild, being just brought to the knowledge of the truth, and being happy in the enjoyment of God, went with an old friend to visit him. When they entered his room, the friend said, “J. Wild is come to tell you what God has done for his soul.” After this, H. Barlow found Jesus, and died happy in the Lord. This circumstance produced a great effect, and numbers in the neighbourhood were converted to God.
Robert Barlow was then convinced of sin; and he prayed, wept, and agonized for salvation. One night his conviction was so great, that he jumped out of bed, fell on his knees, wrestled in mighty prayer, and soon God spoke peace to his troubled soul.
He joined the Wesleyan society, and became very active and zealous in the cause of God.
Nine years ago he joined our society at the Brook; and many were the precious seasons he enjoyed with the pious people there; some of whom he is now joining in heaven.
He met for a time in Brother W. Urmson’s class, where he was frequently filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. He was much attached to his class, and preferred it before any other means of grace.
The last year he was appointed class leader, but could not often attend, in consequence of ill health. At the beginning of this year he was seized with the influenza, which terminated in death.
During his affliction he was wholly devoted to God; his faith, patience, and strong confidence in Jesus, were at all times manifest. He frequently exclaimed, “Ilove Christ in this affliction more than ever.”
I often visited him, and always found him trusting in Christ. He was severely tempted by satan, and tried with the world; and on some occasions the fear of death would, for a moment, affect his mind; but he never let go his hold; he was rooted, fixed, and grounded in the truth of Jesus. The bible was a never-failing source of consolation to his soul.
The night before he died, he advised his daughter Ann to choose for her companions, old experienced Christians; and then exclaimed, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee on the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me,”—Isaiah xlix. 15, 16.
I was with him on the day he died. We prayed, the room was full of heaven, and all present felt the Divine glory. The last words I heard him say were, “I believe in the divinity of Christ.” And about four o’clock in the afternoon he fell asleep in Jesus, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. May our last end be like his.
I preached his funeral sermon in our chapel in Oldham, on Sunday, May 7, 1837, to a very large and weeping congregation. Good was done.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Page 23.
Transcribed by David Tonks