Farmer, Ann (1788-1838)
MEMOIR OF ANN FARMER.
Ann Farmer was born, February 15, 1788, at Stanford in Berkshire; and when young was taken by her grandfather, who brought her up in a moral way; and she has been heard repeatedly to say, that she did not recollect ever telling a wilful untruth.
At an early period she went to service; and in the order of providence was brought to Aldbourn, where she met with him who afterwards became her beloved partner in life. A brother-in-law of hers, invited her and her partner to a chapel; the word reached their hearts, and they sought and found redemption through the blood of Christ.
When the P. Methodists visited Aldbourn, she and her husband, and his brother attended, and were profited; and the brother became the first member in the Shefford circuit.
Brothers J. Ride and J. Petty were the first missionaries sent there by the Brinkworth circuit. And they preached in the open-air at the market cross, which caused great astonishment, and excited the fury of the enemy of souls. Persecution arose, such as ringing bells, &c. But the Lord triumphed; the word preached was blest of the Lord to the salvation of many souls. And Sister Farmer remained steadfast amidst all opposition; and she and her husband were the fourth and fifth members in what is now called the Shefford circuit. Since that time, how blessedly have Zion’s borders been enlarged. To God be all the glory.
In 1830, removing to a village called Ogbourn St. George, they invited the preachers, opened their house, and she joyfully welcomed the messengers of salvation.
For more than fourteen years she was the subject of affliction; and at one time, being likely to die, the cry of the enemies of the cross was, “If the blacksmith’s wife dies, it will be all over with the meetings at Ogbourn St. George.” At this, and the idea of being separated from so beloved a partner, her husband was painfully exercised. She begged him to give her up to the will of the Lord. Prayer was made on her behalf; and while he and a young woman, (who afterwards became a local preacher,) were in treating God on her account, the glory descended, prayer was answered, they believed; and on entering her room, she said, “While you were praying, the glory of heaven filled this place.” She had then been confined to her bed seventeen weeks; but from that time she began to get better. The medical gentleman said she was one of the most patient sufferers he ever attended; and it has been reported that through attending her, he has been brought to see the need of salvation, and has been induced to seek the Lord.
After this they removed to Aldbourn, and she was enabled to attend the preachings. Her class she loved, and prayer was her delight. Even when a seeker of salvation, she used to kneel on a step of the stairs; and the stains caused by her tears were manifest a considerable time afterwards.
In January, 1838, the Lord again laid on her his afflicting hand; and a complication of disorders brought her to the grave. A pious young woman who waked with her, asked if Christ was precious to her soul. She said, “Yes, yes.” On her husband enquiring if her evidence was bright, she said, “Yes, yes, I have a sweet hope of glory in my soul. Bless the Lord. Praise the Lord. I trust, and will praise him. Eternity will be too short to utter all his praise. Yes it will,” said she, repeating it several times, and saying, “O what shall I do, my Saviour to praise,” &c. “All is well, all is well.”
On his asking if she thought she should die, she said, “Yes, when the Lord sees fit to release me.” He said, “You will soon sing of his redeeming love in glory.” She replied, “Yes, yes, bless God,” and added, “How awful would it be now, if I had no hope beyond the grave! But I have a glorious hope, a bright hope.” He then said, “God will give grace and glory,” she replied, “Yes, he will.” And when a passage of scripture or a part of a hymn was repeated, she would go through with it; saying, “It will soon be over. The Lord will soon release me.”
I asked if she had any thing more on her mind. She said, “No, it’s entire sanctification I am waiting for.” Those present engaged in prayer; and, while waiting on God, her soul was let into the full enjoyment of the blessing. And as her end drew nigh, her happiness increased. She said, “God bless you all,” and her soul took its flight to the paradise of God, March 5, 1838.
(Approved by the Quarter day.)
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 425-426.