Morgan, John (1800-1836)
MEMOIR OF JOHN MORGAN.
I embrace this opportunity to preserve some pious traits of departed worth, as well as to adduce another proof of the power of Divine grace to renew and to save. S.T.
John Morgan was born in the year 1800, at Darwen a dark and ungodly neighbourhood in the Bolton circuit.
While young the Spirit of God strove with him, and he felt a desire to go to a Sabbath school; but had not suitable clothing. But this difficulty being removed, he went and entered himself as a scholar; and the sudden change from the company of the careless and ungodly, to that of the steady and devout, made for a time, a deep impression on his mind.
But evil example drew him aside; he became an infidel; mingled with bold blasphemers; denied the sacred oracles, and sat in the scorner’s chair: became a horrid blasphemer, a riotous drunkard, — a brawler and fighter, — a race runner, — a prize wrestler, and a practiser of other abominations.
But in the midst of his career, he was struck with affliction, attended with blindness; and was led to conclude that the hand of God was heavy upon him on account of his abominable ungodlinesses. He became contrite, recovered from his illness: attended the ministry of the P. Methodists: saw himself in danger of hell,
“And starting cried from ruin’s brink,
Save, Jesus, or I yield! I sink!
Oh! save me, or I die!”
And one night on his bed, full of anguish, he obtained a believing view of his Saviour.
“His chains fell off, his heart was free, He said I know the Saviour died for me.”
God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into his heart; he was filled with all joy and peace through believing, and felt that he was born of God. He joined the P. M. Society, and was truly devoted to God.
He soon after entered in to the state of holy matrimony, with a pious member of the same society; and their house from the first was opened for the ambassadors of God. They removed to Bury, now a circuit, but then a part of Bolton circuit. The cause there was low; but with others he laboured for its prosperity. And Heywood, (at which we have now a large chapel and a flourishing society,) being then taken up, Bro. Morgan was appointed to raise a second class, and both there and at Bury, the cause prospered.
Bro. Morgan, for convenience of employment, removed to Heywood, and assisted in establishing a Sunday school; and laboured in it for some time as superintendant; saw the cause go on through much difficulty, and was esteemed by the society and the people for his work of faith and labour of love.
After some time he and the friends judging the time was come for the Lord to especially favour Zion, and believing that the God of heaven would favour them, they exclaimed, “We his servants will rise up and build.” In this work Bro. Morgan was diligent, both as a giver and collector. And he saw the building completed; and since then, he has according to his particular desire, been buried in the cemetry [sic] belonging to it.
From Heywood he removed into the Rochdale branch of Manchester circuit, and being in a weak state of health, he thought it prudent, for a time at least, to desist from active labours in the cause. But his intention was frustrated by the brethren appointing him to the oldest class in the town. And he was soon after appointed to a second to meet in his own house. He laboured with his usual faithfulness, and saw the arm of God made bare and the work prosper. He also sustained the office of branch steward until want of health caused him to decline. And he was never known to be absent from his class for eleven years, unless unavoidably detained.
March 19, 1836, affliction obliged him to desist from all his labour. But in it all he manifested patience and resignation to the will of God. He felt much for the prosperity of the cause of God, and prayed much for the classes that had been committed to his care. A fortnight before his decease, his speech was taken, and he expected his departure was at hand. But after a time his speech was restored, and he again sung :-
“ Chang’d from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place;
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.”
To Bro. Britain he spoke of the goodness of the Lord in saving so great a sinner, keeping him in so many trials, and enabling him to labour in so good a cause. He expressed an earnest desire for the people to preserve the primitive spirit, and dreaded the least departure from what he called our first principles.
He chose the writer of this to preach his funeral sermon, and for the text selected, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him.” Observing as a reason, the preacher could not help but preach Christ; and when he had done that, he might say some little about John Morgan. His desire of course has been sacredly attended to.
Saturday September 24th he cheerfully sung.
“Chang’d from glory into glory.” &c.
Sunday morning, September 25,1836, he called his wife to the bed-side, and told her not to leave him, for he was going to die; but, said she must not grieve for he was going to glory. And she says that just before he died, he lifted up both his hands and emphatically exclaimed, “My Lord! — My Lord!”
He thus fell asleep in the arms of the Lord, in the thirty-sixth year of his age, leaving his lonesome widow to lament her loss. But it is no doubt his infinite gain.
Bro. Morgan was a hater of all evil, a lover of all good; and while in life, he carefully avoided the former, and with unremitting assiduity pursued the latter.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 262-264.