Barnfather, Mary (1803-1837)
Mary Barnfather was born in London, August 1, 1803, and at an early age was taken into a Sunday school, in which she conducted herself with propriety. About fourteen years ago she became the, wife of George Barnfather, who was then in the army. About eight years after this, at Hebron colliery, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, while conversing with a Wesleyan local preacher, she was convinced of sin, and prevailed upon to join their society; but she soon left and joined the P. Methodists; and under a sermon by a female P. M. itinerant preacher, she was more deeply convinced of her desperate state as a sinner, and earnestly sought mercy with cries, groans, and tears. The week following Bro. W. Towler came to preach, and she was enabled to venture by faith on the great Atonement, and obtained the pardon of her sins, and was filled with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Next morning, when her husband came from his night’s labour, he found her rejoicing in God. From this time she became a pattern of piety; her life and conversation did indeed adorn the doctrine of God her Saviour.
In consequence of indisposition of body she was recommended by her medical attendant, to remove to Coventry for the benefit of her health, where she arrived in a state of great bodily weakness, but fully resigned to the will of God. She was much beloved by the society for her heavenly-mindedness, and loving disposition. The fruit of the Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” shone forth in her character with no ordinary lustre.
She greatly enjoyed the company of those who were like-minded with herself. To converse on the pardoning love of God, the witness of the Spirit, conversion of sinners, and the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost, was the delight of her soul.
Her husband going to work at Wollaston, about four miles from Coventry, she removed there also. Her health now began rapidly to decline, and she seemed conscious that her warfare was nearly accomplished, and that sat would soon be in heaven. She never apprehended any fear of meeting death; she had the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. She frequently expressed to her husband what holy joy and heavenly raptures she felt.
In a prayer meeting on the Wednesday night previous to her death, while she prayed, the glory of God filled the house; she had power with God, and prevailed. On the following Friday, after making a particular request to her husband, respecting some domestic affairs, and obtaining a promise agreeable to her wish, she said, “Now I die in peace.” On the sabbath evening she was tolerably free from bodily pain, for which she expressed thankfulness to God, and great confidence in the Saviour’s love. On the following morning, January 23, 1837, she calmly breathed her soul into the hands of a faithful Creator, aged thirty-four years. Bro. Wheeler preached her funeral sermon in the Baptist chapel, Wollaston, and also in Coventry, when three souls professed to be saved.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 116-117.