Roberts, Joseph (1805-1837)
MEMOIR OF JOSEPH ROBERTS, LOCAL PREACHER,
(St. Austell circuit)
When the P. Methodists first visited a small fishing town, near P. Mellon, where brother Roberts resided, and preached Jesus Christ in the streets, he thought it something new. He admired their zeal, activity, and love for the salvation of immortal souls; and thought their manner of preaching was the most likely to convert the world.
Previous to this he had been convinced of sin. He was born August 29, 1805; and in the year 1826 he joined our society, and soon became a class leader; and was much esteemed for his piety and faithfulness in the important station he filled in the church. In 1832, his name appeared on the preachers’ plan; and he preached with general acceptance; was lively, zealous, and useful, and punctual to his appointments. It was not a shower of rain, a dark night, or a dreary road, that could stay him in this important work. When his wife would observe the unfavourableness of the weather, or the distance, he would reply, “My dear, if I die in the work, I shall go to heaven. I am safe of heaven if I should die.”
In Nov. 1834, he took a cold, which laid the foundation of a consumption. I visited him many times during the last twelve months, and always found him with an unshaken confidence in the Lord.
October 8, I visited him for the last time and experienced a blessed season while imploring the blessings of heaven to rest upon him. The Lord drew powerfully near, and we each rejoiced in the hope of glory. I observed it would be the last time I should see him, until we met on Canaan’s blissful shore. We shook hands, and he exhorted me to be faithful; and I hope, through grace, to meet him again where parting will be no more. He frequently expressed a wish to go and be with Christ.
He was often visited by Brother Mitchell, a local preacher, who informed me that Brother Roberts dreamed he was in heaven, and had a palm put in his hand; and when he asked where was his crown, it was given him, but was not so bright as he wished. On this account he felt uneasy. But they talked together, and prayed; and when Brother Mitchell rose from his knees, Bro. Roberts said, “Now I know my crown is bright enough; and I have not a doubt on my mind but that I shall be landed safe.” And on October 30, 1837, he fell asleep in the arms of Jesus. He has left a widow and two small children to lament their loss; but their loss is his eternal gain.
His house was a house for the travelling preachers, till sickness rendered it inconvenient. The kindness he manifested was great, and will not soon be forgotten. And, no doubt, the Lord has rewarded him for his work and labour of love.
(Approved by the Quarter Day.)
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Page 416.