Carter, Thomas (1789-1861)
of Watchfield, Berkshire
Thomas Carter, of Watchfield, Faringdon Circuit, closed his eyes on earth to open them in heaven, October 12th, 1851, in the seventy-second year of his age, after being a consistent member of the Primitive Methodist Connexion twenty-three years, and a total abstainer from intoxicating drinks for twelve years.
The Spirit of God brought him under a concern about his soul, through the ministry of the Rev. Henry Heys, when Watchfield was visited by the pioneers of Primitive Methodism.
After mourning in bitterness of soul for about six months, he attended one of our meetings at Bourton-on-the-Hill, and there by believing in Jesus, he found peace to his troubled soul.
At the age of nineteen he enlisted into the army, in which service he suffered many hardships. He was in the battle of Bayonne in 1813. In that field of blood more than 4,001 lives were lost. He was wounded and taken prisoner; but God in His kind providence soon delivered him out of the hands of his enemies, and restored him to his fatherland, where he was placed in Chelsea Hospital. After remaining for two months he received his discharge from the army, and returned into Berkshire. his native county, to live with his relations, soon after which he entered the married state. But alas! he was still a slave to sin, and he continued alien from God for some time, hut subsequently by Divine grace his heart was changed, and from that time to the day of his death, he remained steadfast in the faith. He was indeed “a new creature in Christ Jesus, and walked not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
As a husband and a father he was kind, gentle, and affectionate. As a neighbour, “he lived by the Christian’s rule, loving his neighbour as himself,” and was anxious to do good; sometimes when sin was manifested by his neighbours, he exhorted them with tears to turn from it, saying, “Oh! why don’t you repent? Why do you live in sin? Why don’t you fly to Christ? Oh! if you live and die in such a state there will be no heaven for you.” He loved all and was respected and loved by all who knew him. As a Christian he loved God with all his heart, was much devoted to prayer, was constant at his class-meetings and other religious services. He often said, “the word of God was sweeter to him than his natural food.” He rejoiced evermore, and in all things gave thanks, insomuch that the children of the village gave him the appellation of “Happy Tommy.” He was a great friend to the cause of God; the Primitive Methodists preached in his house at Watchfield for nearly eighteen years, and to his home the servants of God were always welcome. For several weeks previous to his death it was his conviction that he should die suddenly. On the day of his death he had been in the fields at work during the former part of the day, and coming home to dinner he seemed as well as usual, ate a hearty dinner, and went into the garden, singing,—
“The sweat of death is on my brow, All is well: My feet are in the river now —All is well.” And going into a barn that was close by the garden, he fell in a fit, and the bright angels came and took his happy spirit home to glory. And thus,—
Without a lingering groan,
He did his body with his charge lay down,
And ceased at once to work and live!”
He had ten children already in heaven, to welcome him on his arrival. He has left an aged widow and four children behind to mourn their loss.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1862, page 318-319