Platt, Joseph (1813-1854)
Mr Joseph Platt was born at Betley, Staffordshire, August 23, 1853 [sic; should be 1813]. From childhood he was the subject of deep religious impressions, and was not addicted to the usual sins and follies of youth. And when made the sport of the ungodly, he seemed to have no disposition to retaliate, but rather to weep over their wickedness.
About the year 1832 he became decided to devote himself to the service of God, and joined with the ‘Methodist New Connexion’. He remained some years an accredited member with the New Connexion; but thinking that among the Primitive Methodists, with whom his parents were members, he should have greater opportunities for the exercise of his talents, he resolved to unite with our people. He acted accordingly; and from that time until his death, a period of fourteen years, he abounded in works of faith and labours of love, using the talents entrusted to him with all diligence, fulfilling the injunction, ‘Work while it is called today, for the night cometh when no man can work.’
Though a man of extensive business, yet he allowed not any circumstance, want of health excepted, to prevent the fulfilment of his engagements as appointed on the preachers’ plan: and his addresses were well received, being delivered with fervour, the utterance of a heart yearning for the spiritual welfare of his audience. Though our brother was in his forty-first year he was not married, but resided with his widowed mother at Knutton. He conscientiously performed the duties of family devotion, daily reading the Scriptures and offering prayer to God.
As a visitor of the sick and others, he was truly exemplary. Wherever an open door presented itself he entered, and exhorted, prayed, and ministered to the necessities of the inmates. His liberality to the poor and to the cause of God was of no ordinary character. Would that all who are entrusted with riches followed his example in this respect. Mr Platt’s death was sudden.
On Sunday, March 12, 1854, he was at Knutton, led his class in the morning, attended service twice in the chapel, and heartily engaged in the prayer meeting after evening service, and exhorted the members to set apart a portion of each day in the following week to pray for a revival of religion. Next morning he conducted family worship, and then proceeded to Stoke, intending to reach Crewe by train; but walking on the rails a short distance, he was overtaken by a train, was suddenly dashed against the step of a carriage, and received a wound in the skull, which proved fatal in about two-and-thirty hours. After being conveyed by myself and others to a member’s house, medical aid was immediately procured, but it was all in vain. Several Christian friends were also present to administer religious consolation, but he was apparently insensible. Well was it for him that he was previously made meet for heaven! ‘Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.’