Hare, Asenath (1811-1836)
MEMOIR OF ASENATH HARE,
Asenath Hare, daughter of Thomas and Mary Hare, was born in April, 1811, at Barrow, in Lincolnshire; from whence, in 1815, the family removed to Hesle, in Yorkshire.
Asenath was of a mild and innofensive disposition; and early manifested strong desires for the salvation of her soul. And Dec. 10, 1826, in a prayer meeting after a preaching, she began to cry to God for mercy; and at a prayer meeting at R. Dixon’s, on the Wednesday night following, she believed in the atonement, and was enabled to sing, “O Lord, I will praise thee; though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away and thou comfortedest me.”
Other young persons, about the same time, were brought to the Lord; who together with Sister Hare, proved by the devotedness of their lives to God, “that they had been with Jesus.” And the circumstances connected with their conversion and piety, being communicated to the clergyman of the church, that gentleman sent for them to his house, inquired of their spiritual state, and receiving satisfactory answers relative to the divine change wrought in their hearts by the power of the Spirit of God. He encouraged these lambs of Christ’s flock to go on and live near to God.
Sister Hare at an early period was apprenticed to a dress-maker; and by her diligence in business, and through a praise-worthy solicitude to excell in the art, was, by strict economy, enabled to support both herself and her aged parents.
This pious young female, in the midst of her numerous engagements, was enabled, by a prudent management of her time, and a strict and close application to her business, to attend nearly the whole public and private means of grace. And so fully was she aware of the importance of a proper use of the means, that she acted as might be expected by a person enjoying much of the love of God; and so happy was she on those joyous occasions, that many times she has rapturously exclaimed, “O that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away and be at rest.”
Like all Christians, she had to sustain the assaults of our combined foes; and she frequently, when adverting to her spiritual conflicts, has said,
“How oft have sin and satan strove
To rend my soul from thee, my God;
But everlasting is thy love,
And Jesus seal’d it with his blood.”
She continued to live in the enjoyment of much religion until the beginning of the year 1836, when she had to pass through some severe spiritual conflicts, partly perhaps arising from a want of firmness in rejecting the overtures of a worldly person; and secondly from a want of unity, or a breach of harmony, in the society at Hesle. She suffered acutely; but her sincere devotedness was soon again evidenced, and might be seen daily ripening for a better world.
Her friends observed symptoms of a decline: change of air was tried, but without effect; a deathlike paleness succeeded the youthful rosiness of her cheeks. But, supported by her brother, she went to the lovefeast, and also attended the quarterly visitation of the classes. Bro. Harland renewed the tickets; and, weak as she was, her soul was so filled with the love of God, that she exclaimed, “Glory, glory. Halleluia, halleluia,” while the friends assembled enjoyed such a banquet as will not soon be forgotten.
Her strength rapidly declined; but as the casket decayed, the diamond it contained appeared with greater brilliancy. Often she repeated:-
“Though waves and storms go o’er my head,
Though health, and strength, and friends be gone,
Though joys he withered all and dead,
Though every comfort be withdrawn;
On this my stedfast soul relies, —
Father, thy mercy never dies.”
Poverty with its consequences stared her, in the face; but her confidence was in HIM who feedeth the young ravens. And she whose youthful hands administered to the wants of her aged parents, — she who in health had fasted a whole day that she might relieve a fellow-creature in distress, now in her affliction was an object of the kindest regard; and her temporal as well as spiritual wants were abundantly supplied. And to Mrs. Booth, Asenath’s friends desire to return their most sincere thanks for her kindness, constant attention, and benevolence.
When the preachers or other members who visited Asenath, were engaged in singing and prayer, she would wave her hand and shout, “Halleluia! Glory, glory!” And when informed by her medical attendant that there were no hopes of her recovery, she exclaimed, “I am quite ready, and am calmly waiting till my change comes.”
Being visited by Bro. Dixon, her former leader, she broke out into her wonted strain of “Glory! glory! Halleluia! halleluia!”
Sunday, Dec. 4, Brothers Clowes and Harland Preached our anniversary sermons, and came to see her. Bro. C. asked if she was ever harrassed by the enemy. She said, “Not much.” And while he was praying she was abundantly filled with the love of God. But in the evening she was strongly tempted that the Lord dealt hardly with her. Her brother William found her weeping. But the struggle was short, and she again rejoiced in God.
When her relatives wept, she desired them not to mourn., but rather rejoice. A short time before her departure, she was tempted that she would be lost after all. And she was at intervals exceedingly convulsed; but in the moments of respite from pain, she cried mightily to God, and was brought off more than conqueror. And she died about four o’clock in the morning of Dec. 29, 1836, aged 25 years.
The substance of this memoir was furnished by her brother, W. Hare, and was approved by the quarter day board.
T. Bennet, Pres.
W. Harland, Sec.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 386-387.