Newton, Emma Susanna (nee Smith) (1845-1905)

Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by G. Newton

Mrs. Emma S. Newton, the second daughter of the late Rev. R. Smith, entered into rest on Sabbath, April 2nd, 1905.

She was born at Halifax on April 12th, 1846. In early life she showed a natural inclination for spiritual things. Two reasons may be assigned for this, first she appeared to inherit the spiritual qualifications of her sainted mother, it may also be said that she grew up within the courts of the Lord’s House. She often said, “My mother took me to the services of the Church, Sabbath and week day, preaching services, prayer meetings, and class meetings, when I was but a few weeks old, in fact I don’t remember a time when I did not go to the chapel.” Those early desires for the sanctuary continued with her to the end. At a very early age the influence of the Divine Spirit was felt by her, but not till she was eleven years old did she yield to the constraining power of love Divine, then she gave her heart to God, and entered the Church, and for forty-nine years consistently followed her Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Her life has been one of quiet service; when in her teens she became an active worker in the Sunday School. Her devotion and spiritual mindedness commended her to the officials as suitable for the higher classes, hence she would often find herself giving religious instruction to women much older than herself. This to her was a cross, and but for her love for the work and her consecration of service to her Master, she would have withdrawn from such important posts.

In the year 1870, her father removed to London, having been appointed to the office of General Committee Secretary. Here she became acquainted with her husband, who was at that time a probationer in the London III. Circuit. The minister’s daughter became the minister’s wife; and in every respect she proved herself to be a true helpmeet.

She was deeply interested in matters affecting the Connexion, especially when the district and circuit in which they were labouring were concerned. Her hand was a helping hand in all work connected with the Church’s life. Tea meetings and bazaars found in her a willing worker, but more especially in those efforts which had for their object the quickening of the Spiritual Life of the Church. Into the services, both ordinary and extraordinary she entered heartily, and often rendered valuable help to the penitent one seeking after the Lord Jesus Christ. Was there a female inquirer after the truth, her husband knew and the Church soon learned that her wise counsel and motherly advice was ever ready, and many a seeking one has she directed to the “Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” Hence under such circumstances it became a custom to fetch Mrs. Newton, and many a time she has put her baby on the knee of a friend, to answer the call.

Yet, though she so loved the Lord’s House and His services which she never neglected when health permitted, she would say: “My home is my religious sphere.” Her home duties were duties in which she delighted.

During the last few years of her life, she had one or two severe illnesses, these left their mark upon her weakened body in feeble health and nervous debility. She also met with an unfortunate accident which left effects upon her which continued with her to the end.

Though for months she strove to maintain her strength and her cheerfulness, yet to her friends it was evident that she was gradually losing physical force. Persuaded to consult a medical man from the first the doctor gave very little hope of her recovery. The consultation with a Professor only confirmed his fears that the end was gradually but surely approaching. During her illness, however her faith in God never failed. She would say: “I should like to live a few years longer, not that I am afraid to die, no I have made that all right.” Her delight was in the “law of the Lord.” A week or two before she died, having read the portion of Scripture for family worship, she said, “Read ‘The Lord is my Shepherd.’ ” The 23rd Psalm was to her a comforting portion. The hymns “Jesu, lover of my soul,” “Lead kindly light,” “ My Jesus, I love Thee,” were sweet to her taste. In the moments of pain and suffering, these were repeated to her, they appeared to act as a magic spell, so much so that the watchers were astonished at the peace and calm that came upon her. Her end was Peace, perfect peace.

Family

Emma was born on 12 April 1845 (not 1846) to parents Robert Smith, a PM Minister, and Priscilla Gaukrodger

Emma married George Newton (1841-1912) in the summer of 1871 in London. Census returns identify three children.

  • Thomas Irvin (1875-1952) – an automobile engineer (1911); emigrated to Australia in 1927.
  • Robert Ennis (1879-1952) – a secondary school teacher
  • Charles Henry (abt1886-1951) – an electrician

Emma died in Glasgow, Scotland.

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine1906/579

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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