Gascoigne, John

Christian Messenger 1908
Christian Messenger 1908

Transcription of ‘Sketch’ in the Christian Messenger

Tall, of somewhat graceful features with a dark, speaking eye, ready, quaint, picturesque speech, and a mystic expression of religious feeling, Mr. Gascoigne is unique. Nearly forty years class leader at Briston, he has by scripture reference, vivid metaphor, and fiery action always kept his class cheery and alive. “One thing I do,” is his motto, and the one thing is to keep before his class the possibility of holiness. The ideal has always been kept to the front. With him the holy man in the man who is bound to succeed. His naturally strong constitution has now become weakened by hard work, and he is no longer able to do exploits. The spirit is willing, eager and burning to go, but the bodily limbs refuse to serve. Still he continues to share in leading the class, which, though not in numbers or fervour what it once was, is still a class meeting. The problem is to maintain the fireside gathering of the church members and yet to modify it to suit the times – a problem not for settlement by the old leaders to whom the past with its methods is sacred. But we must somehow keep the soul, the fire, the magnetic spell of the old circles. Here is the problem for our young leaders. Our old friends must make allowances and remember that the whole atmosphere of life has changed. If, however, we must say good-bye to the past and to our old leaders we will cherish the memory of their splendid service.

Our brother has been more than class leader – a flaming evangelist. Resolving one Sunday to tackle every person he met on his way to his appointment on soul matters he met and questioned the clergyman, who, greatly annoyed, went to the magistrates for a summons. The magistrate, a Cozens-Hardy refused. “John Gascoigne,” he said, “is a good Christian and meant to do you good.”

W.L.S.

Family and other information

Based on the information in the sketch, I have not been able to identify John unambiguously in census returns. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

References

Christian Messenger 1908/17

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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