Bentley, Sarah (nee Lea) (1800-1878)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by E. Ball

Mrs. Sarah Bentley, wife of the late Rev. R. Bentley, was born at Holstry Court, in the county of Hereford, June 10, 1800, and died at Hereford, December 27, 1878, in the 79th year of her age. From her youth she was the subject of religious impressions and promptings of the Holy Spirit, which ultimately led to her conversion. This happy change took place in the twenty-ninth year of her age, in her own bedroom, and whilst she was wrestling with God in prayer for the realisation of His favour and adoption into His family. After her conversion she united with our people in that neighbourhood, and continued a useful and devoted member of the church.

For many years she was a class-leader, and employed her time and talents in instructing others in the way to heaven. Nor did she labour in vain, or spend her strength for nought in this department of Christian work. Doing good was a work in which she delighted and excelled. She had a special aptitude for visiting the sick and the poor, not only ministering to their souls but also their bodies. She believed in giving; nor did she give pompously or ostentatiously, but freely and cheerfully. It was only for her to know of cases of distress, and she would find means to relieve them. She was a generous and liberal giver, denying herself many things that she might have the means to help others. In fact, we might say of her that her heart devised liberal things; at the same time her liberality was of a strictly private character. Her disposition was amiable and gentle; she loved peace, and endeavoured to promote it. She loved all who loved our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and in truth, but she loved the people of her choice best, and rejoiced in their prosperity. She was anxious to live only that she might do good to others, and be the agent in leading them to God. Had her life been spared she contemplated doing more for God and His cause than ever she had done, both in labour and in gifts.

In the affliction which terminated her life, she suffered much at times, but it was borne with patience and resignation to the Divine will. She spoke of her interest in Christ, and of her being able to rest her soul upon Him. Her whole life was a witness for Jesus, and her death was a triumph of grace. A few days before she died she had a glorious manifestation of the Divine presence, and found the room was full of glory and of God, and it was quite a privilege to be with her. She said, ‘I have no fear; I am resting on the Rock. He will bring me to glory, to my desired haven. Oh, praise the Lord! Come, Lord Jesus!’ These were her last words, and thus she departed to the bosom of her Lord, to love and serve Him for ever. ‘For where I am,’ He has said, ‘there shall also My servant be.’

Family

Sarah was born on 10 June 1800 at Vowchurch, Herefordshire, to parents Joseph and Mary.

She married Richard Bentley (1809-1878), a PM minister in early 1852 at Hereford, Herefordshire.

Sarah died on 27 December 1878 at Hereford, Herefordshire.

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1881/55

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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