Royston, Sarah (1805-1835)
MEMOIR OF SARAH ROYSTON,
Sarah, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Bywater, was born at Leeds, March 5,1805. Her parents were among the first that joined our people in Leeds; hence, she was piously educated, and diligently taught in the way of God. From her most early years she was the subject of serious impressions. This was evidenced in the choice of her youthful companions, her regular attendance on the house of God, the propriety and gravity of her whole deportment, and her early engaging in the Sunday school as a teacher.
At the time of our sister’s entering the school, it was, by injudicious management, most seriously involved. A diversity of plans were laid down to retrieve it from its distressing circumstances; among other means to be used, our sister and another, volunteered to go out weekly to get subscribers and receive donations. This, for a series of years, she regularly attended to, and very many are the pounds that our sister collected in behalf of our Quarry Hill Sunday school.
Her regular attendance at the school gained the confidence of the superintendants, and the attachment of the class committed to her care. And this, with her peculiar mode of teaching, caused her class to stand high in the school; for her regular attendance affectionate demeanour, sedate and quiet turn of mind, gained her the confidence, esteem, and respect of the children; and as such, they were prepared to receive her teaching and instruction.
At sixteen years of age she joined our society. How or where she was brought to feel the love of God shed abroad in her heart, she could not tell; but, with the man in scripture, she could say, “Once I was blind but now I see.”
In her Christian career, she was humble, simple, unostentatious and retired; to be admired and loved, she required to be known. Whoever wavered or fell, she noiselessly went on her way, diligently attending the means of grace; and by her spirituality, blessing all around her.
In June, 1830, our sister changed her situation in life, entering into matrimony with Mr. J. Royston, who at that time was a teacher in the school, and is now one of the superintendants; he is also a member of the society. But this step was not taken without due thought and prayer.
As her family calls demanded her attention, she could not attend the school as formerly; but in lifting up the hands of her husband, and engaging for him at the throne of grace, she laboured to fill up every lack of her personal service.
She had her imperfections, it is true; a knowledge of them kept her humble and watchful; and that knowledge caused few to see them except God and herself.
In January, 1835, our sister was taken ill, and her illness proved to be unto death. It was a long and painful scene; during the period of which were seen, the graces of the matured Christian. The state of her mind may be gathered from the following extract from a letter sent by her to her class:
“I desire an interest in your prayers this evening at the class, for a deeper work of grace in my soul; for, at present, I feel very weak in body, and at times, my mind is very much tried by the enemy. He wants me to believe that I have no religion; but I can say, ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth.’ And my afflictions, though severe, are sent in mercy. May you be enabled to believe; for it is written, ‘The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ What is it that our God cannot do? Perhaps by your prayers, he may heal my body; for which I should be thankful. I want to be as clay in the hands of the potter. Let him do what seemeth him good.”
As her disease was flattering in its nature, her friends and relatives fondly hoped she would get better; but God, her father, thought fit to remove her from the hopes of her friends; for April 16, 1835, she departed this life in the full triumph of faith.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 460-461.