Memoir of Temperance Frost, of Wirksworth, who was deaf and dumb from her birth.
Temperance Frost, daughter of Joseph and Hannah Frost was born January 7, 1789, at Wirksworth, in Derbyshire. From her birth to her death she was never blest with the gift of speech or hearing; but in lieu of these it appeared, the Lord had bestowed on her some very excellent gifts. She appeared to possess a sound judgment; and, by signs could make both her parents and neighbours understand her meaning.
At a proper age she went to work at a cotton factory at Cromford, where she continued to be employed as long as she lived. She was an excellent spinner of cotton, and very industrious in her work; and was polite and accommodating in her manner. As she grew up, she was remarkably fond of gaiety and ornament in her dress. And, before her conversion, her mother says, she was much given to passion.
In the year 1820, the Primitive Methodists visited Wirksworth; the word took effect, and a society was soon raised up. The mother, Hannah Frost, opened her house for preaching, and it has continued there ever since. When the work begun a class was soon formed and met in the same house; so that Temperance Frost was brought fully into the means of grace; and her mother and brother were members of the class. A change was observed to take place in Temperance Frost, and she soon appeared to be a quite different person. She put away all her curls, and her superfluity of ornament in dress; and her heart was also changed; she lost all her bad tempers, and appeared fully adorned with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God, of great price: and her very soul seemed to be swallowed up of love.
On this change taking place in sister Frost, she became remarkably fond of prayer both public and private. She would frequently engage in public, and appeared to be entirely swallowed up in devotion. And though she could not speak a word, yet her impressive signs and manner, her power with God through faith, and the great unction which attended her exercises, had generally a very great effect on the congregation.
On one occasion, at a love-feast, she shewed by signs that she wished to make known the goodness of God to her soul. She was immediately brought forward, and placed before the people. Her appearance was striking: she was drest very plain, and was remarkably clean and neat. By her impressive signs she gave the people to understand, that she had Christ in her heart, and that she should go to heaven. Her exercise, on this occasion, had such effect, that all the people were melted into tears.
In April 1821, I first became acquainted with her. She then had the visible marks of consumption; and she continued to grow weaker in body, but stronger in the Lord, and in the power of his might. She was soon confined to her bed, where she lay like a conqueror over death. It was a pleasure to visit her: she appeared to be filled with the glory of God.
As sister Frost drew near to the close of her life, she seemed very much concerned about precious souls. A young man coming to see her, she gave him to understand that if he did not turn to God he would burn, and pointed to the fire in the room.
Sister Ogden with her little girl went to see her, and she shewed sister Ogden that she must bring up the child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and pointed her to the following
Hymn c. m. Deut. Vi. 6. 7.
“The words of God within thy mind,
Within thine heart shall dwell,
That children may true wisdom find
Through thine abundant zeal, &c.”
She also chose the hymns to be sung at her funeral.
Patience seemed to have had its perfect work in her soul: she was heavily afflicted, but she bore all in submission to the will of God. Towards the end of August, it appeared as if every day would close her life. She appeared to be sensible to the last, and continued to praise the Lord, in her way, as long as he gave her power. And she sweetly fell asleep in the arms of Jesus on the 31st of August, 1821, aged thirty-two years and a few months.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1822