Chester, Richard (1808-1837)
Died at Redditch, May 3, 1837, Richard Chester, aged twenty-nine years. In childhood he attended the Wesleyan Sunday school, and was the subject of deep convictions; and on hearing one of their local preachers, the word was made the power of God to the salvation of his soul. He joined their society, and continued a steady member till he joined us in 1835.
Having for some time adorned the gospel, by his life and conversation, and manifested a strong desire to promote the glory of God and the welfare of his fellow creatures, he was appointed to the office of class leader, which he sustained with honour to himself, and the welfare of the flock committed to his charge.
About April 10,1837, he was taken ill, but cheerfully submitted to the will of God His disorder being something of a typhus fever, was very severe for nine or ten days, and occasionally affected his reason. But during the intervals his mind was taken up with things divine.
Contrary to general expectation, the time of his departure drew near; but his evidence was bright and his confidence strong. He was not heard to repine, but cast all his care upon him who cared for him.
The night on which he died, being asked by his wife if he had a desire to see his children, he answered, “Yes.” Accordingly they were brought to him, and he instructed and exhorted them as their particular cases required; charging them all to meet him in heaven.
A brother leader, who often visited him, says “The last time I saw him was a few days before he died. He put out his hand to me in token of brotherly love and Christian friendship; and said, ‘Bless the Lord, there is salvation for you and me.’” These were the last words he spoke distinctly.
The following is from his master, a local preacher in the Wesleyan Connexion.
“ In some of the relations he sustained in life it may be affirmed, that as a husband and parent he was affectionate. As a servant he was industrious, strictly honest, and very faithful; securing for himself the attachment of his employer. As a neighbour and friend, he was peaceful, benevolent, and affectionate. By his death, his family have sustained an irreparable loss; whilst the writer of this has to lament the loss of a most faithful servant betwixt whom and himself subsisted mutual attachment and respect.”
Brother Harry improved his death in the Wesleyan school room at Redditch, (which was kindly lent on the occasion), to a crowded congregation; and truly it was a melting time.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 156-157.