Kay, John (abt1801-1840)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J Day

Died, December 22, 1840, in the thirty-ninth year of his age, John Kay, of Burton-Leonard, in the Ripon circuit. John Kay’s parents manifested no concern either for their own or their children’s eternal welfare; and John ran on in the way of sin for six and twenty years. By him the bible, the closet, the house of the Lord, the Saviour, and the salvation of his soul, were disregarded. To sabbath-breaking and drunkenness he was much addicted. It was no uncommon thing with him to stop at a public-house for two or three days together, wasting his time, squandering away his money, emaciating his constitution, degrading his character, polluting his soul, and offending the Divine Being, his Benefactor and Friend. 

In March 1838, Bro. Joseph Spoor went to preach at his native place; and report saying that he was a little eccentric in his expressions and manners, Bro, Kay, out of curiosity, went to hear him; and the word, being accompanied by the Holy Spirit, went like a dagger to his heart, and he saw that he was lost and undone without Christ. He yielded to conviction, repented, prayed; and, by faith in Christ, realized the forgiveness of all his sins, and his troubled conscience was hushed, into peace, and he could say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, who forgiveth, all thine iniquities, and who healeth all thy deseases.” 

That his change was divine, genuine; and saving, he gave demonstrative evidence. His change was so conspicuous, that all “took knowledge of him that he had been with Jesus.” He was affable, kind, and liberal, and always ready to assist the cause of God with pecuniary aid; and, being a single man, he had the ability for so doing. 

During his illness, he charged his leader to be sure to let him know. when, the tickets were renewed, that he might cast his mite into the treasury of the Lord. To his closet he frequently retired to hold communion with God, and was always regular in his attendance on the public means of grace. Let who would be absent, he was sure to be there. He only missed his class twice, from the time of his conversion to that of his being taken ill; and one of the times he went to Spofforth, a distance of ten miles, to a Camp meeting; and the other, he went to see a relation, about ten miles distance, who was sick, and died a few days after.

In his experience he was sound and scriptural, and was as sensible that God was his salvation as he was of his own existence, He knew in whom he had believed, and his patience under his affliction was such as became a follower of Jesus Christ. Though he was ill for eleven months, no murmuring expressions were heard to escape his lips, nor was impatience seen in his temper.

In January 1840, he, by reason of affliction, desisted from work; and in a few weeks was declared to be consumptive, and he appeared to be gradually sinking into the arms of death. During his affliction, he met with many things (from a quarter from which they ought not to have come) of a very trying nature; but he bore up under all with patience, casting his whole care upon God,

My colleagues and I visited him several times during his illness, and always found, him happy, and for onwards. The last time I saw him, which was three or four months prior to his dissolution, he was in a blessed state of mind, his happiness was inconceivable and inexpressible, and more than once he said, “All is right.” And, with expressions of the most lively gratitude, he acknowledged that his change, his salvation, and his consolation, from the loving-kindness of God. He said, “My salvation is all of grace.” And while I knelt at the bed-side, praying with him, the Lord in the power of his Spirit came down, and baptized us, and we could say, “It is good. for us to be here!” And as I went away from the house with tears of joy flowing from my eyes, I was constrained to say, “Let my last end be like his.” 

On or about the seventh of October, 1840, he lost his speech, and was not able to speak again until the 18th of December, which was ten weeks and two days. Of this, he appears to have had some foreknowledge, for he said to a person who was with him, some days before, “If God takes away my speech, he will still be with me.” After he got his speech again, he sent for Bro. Horner, his leader, and told him a great many good things, and advised, him to live very near to God, “For,” said he, “I have nothing to spare, I shall need all I have.” He also said, (speaking of the time that he was speechless,) “I have had many mighty struggles with the enemy of my soul, and found it hard work to pray, but I made the effort, and conquered.”

Brother Kay lingered on till December 22, 1840; and then, in peace and triumph, closed his eyes in death, to enter the regions of the celestial hosts, and be for ever with the Lord.


John was born in 1801 at Burton Leonard, Yorkshire, to parents John and Sarah. He was baptised on 3 August 1801 at Burton Leonard.

John died on 22 December 1840 at Burton Leonard, Yorkshire


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1841/397

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