Sims, John (1787-1837)
John Sims, of Newbury. was born in 1787, and died June 24th, 1837. He was much addicted to drinking. But soon after the P. Methodists commenced their labours in the town of Newbury, he was induced to hear a sermon preached in the open air by sister E. Smith, (since deceased,) and was convinced of sin, but stifled the conviction. In 1835 he attended the P. M. ministry in the chapel, was more deeply convinced, joined the society, and continued a consistent member to the day of his death.
His wife says, “It is now about two years since my dear husband became a member of the P, M. society; and I trust will have reason to praise God through eternity that he ever heard them. To them he was indebted, as instruments in God’s hand, for bringing him to the knowledge of the truth. And I think, from the time he united with them, no one can lay any thing to his charge; for truly, the things he once loved, he now hated; and the things he had little or no relish for, he brought to love and admire; and by the help of the Spirit of HIM who hath said, “Ask, and it shall be given; seek, and ye shall find,” he was enabled to hold fast the beginning of his confidence steadfast unto the end.
“My dear husband’s affliction commenced in September, 1836; but he did indeed bear it with patience and resignation to the Divine will. I never heard, during that time, a murmur escape his lips. As long as he was able to go about, he was often singing and praising God for his goodness to his soul. I said to him one day, “You will have a better home.” He exclaimed, “I have a heavenly home here: I am happy below, and shall be happy above.”
“During his illness he manifested a great regard for those who love the Saviour, particularly to those who visited him. He never appeared happier than when either his ministers or his class leader was with him; and was ever grateful to those who rendered him any little kindness, or did any thing for him. The morning before he died, I asked him if he felt resigned. He said “Yes, praise the Lord.” Between twelve and one o’clock I went into his room. He put his hand out of the bed to shake hands with me, and said, “God bless you, God bless you.” And about half-past three he expired.
Mr. Sims was often visited by his leader, who states that he always found him resigned to the will of God. That when in health he was diligent at the means of grace, and spoke with deep humility, his soul appearing to glow with gratitude to God for his mercy in plucking him as a brand from the burning. On the Sunday previous to his death, his leader says, “I found him exceedingly happy, and asked if he felt a hope which would carry him beyond the grave?” He said, “Yes, praise the Lord.” I observed, the precious blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin. He said, “I feel it,” and he appeared to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
In April, 1837, I became acquainted with him, visited him several times, and was much blessed while conversing and praying with him. He was an intelligent man, and his love to the cause was great. He has left a wife and six children to lament their loss ; but their loss is his gain. I improved his death to a large and attentive congregation, and trust good was done.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Page 356.