Barker, Mary Elizabeth (1853-1899)
Transcription of Obituary In the Christian Messenger
MRS. G. BARKER.— In the departure to the Better Land of Mary Elizabeth Barker, Bethel Church, Parkgate, lost one of its most devoted members. She was born at Bishop Norton, Lincolnshire, January 30th, 1853. Afterwards she lived at West Melton, and later came to reside at Parkgate, where from 1873 she has been connected with our cause. From her earliest years she was subject to the gracious influences of the Divine Spirit, and her life became thoroughly dedicated to the Master she so dearly loved. To know her was to love her and to be ennobled by fellowship with her. She possessed the highest qualities of womanhood; God’s choicest and most winsome attributes appeared to be incarnated in her. Nothing mean, low, or vulgar was ever evidenced in her life. She took her religion into every domain of her activity. In business she acted on Christian principles. She attended diligently to its claims, displaying much ability and sound judgment therein, and her marked integrity and unfailing courtesy won the esteem of all. Her home life was ideally beautiful. It was ever open to our ministers and church workers, who were ever heartily welcomed and treated with the greatest kindness. Therein she was sociable, affable, sympathetic. Her self-forgetfulness and thoughtfulness for others were ever manifest; nobler self-abnegation and sweetness of disposition have rarely been seen. She possessed in a special degree that precious gift of sympathetic discernment which at a glance understood human hearts and won them. She was indeed a true Christian. The mind of the Master dwelt richly in her. To those who knew her, her life was an unfailing source of inspiration to better deeds and nobler service. She thoroughly appreciated the ministry of God’s servants and the services of the sanctuary, and did much to enhance the prosperity of the church she loved. She and her husband, a class-leader and treasurer of our trust estate, again and again rendered valuable financial help in the various trust and other efforts of our church, to our missionary cause, and not only the claims of our own church, but the appeals of other churches invariably obtained a generous response. Her piety was deep and unmistakeable. She was ever ‘steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the works of the Lord.’ For a number of years her health had been feeble, and two years before her death it was discovered that she was stricken with cancer. In December, 1898, she underwent a very serious operation, but the disease rapidly returned, to which she succumbed on Tuesday, August 22nd. A beautiful simplicity and unfaltering trust marked her declining days. No one could fail to observe her Christian fortitude and calm reliance upon her Saviour during those last weeks of weariness and intense pain. She quietly awaited the summons to enter the higher service and perfect life of heaven. And so she fell asleep in Jesus
‘As sets the morning star,
Which goes not
Nor hides obscured among the tempests
Of the sky;
But melts away into the light of heaven.’
And now she is gone. We are impoverished, and especially so the dear husband, for whom we crave Divine consolation, but heaven is enriched. Her saintly life is now over, but the true Christian spirit, the earnestness of her toil, the inspiration of her life will live with us forever. Believing that ‘this life and the life to come are not two, but one and the same, death is not the ending of one, and resurrection the beginning of another, but through all there runs one imperishable life.’ We look confidently to the day when, having completed our service, we shall pass ‘Beyond the shadow,’ and meet her in the eternal city of God.
Family and other information
Mary was married to George Barker (abt 1858-1921). George was a coal miner (1881), and later a dairyman (1891). He remarried in the summer of 1900 to Mary Hannah Pashley.
Mary died on 22 August 1899 at Parkgate, Rotherham, Yorkshire.
Christian Messenger 1901/318
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