Steele, Mary (nee Hunter) (1803-1834)
AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARY STEELE,
Daughter of the above Elizabeth Hunter,
My daughter Mary Steele, was born November 3, 1803. From her infancy she was remarkable for her steady deportment, and was by no means destitute of serious impressions.
When about fifteen years of age, she was more deeply wrought upon by the Spirit of God. In 1823 she was seized with the brain fever, under which affliction she was brought to a more serious and deep concern for her soul’s salvation. Some of our friends prayed earnestly for her, and whilst pleading in her behalf, the Lord was pleased to set her soul at liberty; and she could rejoice in God. A few days after, we had a wonderful display of the glory of God. About 10 o’clock in the evening, she desired the bed curtains to be drawn aside, when she also heard the most exquisite singing and music, and declared that she saw heaven’s gates thrown wide open, and the Son of God standing with a golden girdle about his breast, and clothed in a long white robe. She told us many wonderful things too numerous to detail. She told us when it would end; and exactly at that time all was drawn up and the vision passed away. There are many living witnesses of this, both here and elsewhere. I myself saw the glory streaming about the bed, like beams of the sun; and the nurse was struck to the ground by the greatness of it.
Upon her recovery from this sickness, she returned to her situation ; and being deprived of the means of grace, she had some small declension in her soul; but, on hearing Mr. John Garner preach, she was baptized with a fresh baptism. From this time she went on until the year 1825, when she went to reside at Beverly. Here, she and her fellow servant agreed to pray for a revival of religion; and at the expiration of one month, the work broke out, and four of her brothers and sisters were brought to God.
She enjoyed much of the divine favour at Beverly. But having to live at Hull, she afterwards lost ground and fell from grace.
In 1829, she was married to Michael Steele; and shortly after, the Lord re-adopted her into his family; after which she never lost her evidence. Her troubles in the married state were numerous. Soon after they were married, her husband was afflicted, and this affliction continued a whole year, on which account she hired herself as cook in a gentleman’s family, in order to provide things honest in the sight of all men; which, by the blessing of God, she was enabled to do.
During her marriage life, she was remarkable for her piety and devotion; and when afflicted with her last illness, she was perfectly resigned to the will of God. For about three-weeks before her death, she was mostly delirious; but when sensible, she gave the clearest testimony of her acceptance with God. The day she died, her sister Smith (now residing at Weighton,) asked her if she was happy; when, laying her hand upon her heart, she said, “O yes! I am as happy as can be out of heaven.” She continued in a happy frame until night, and expired, rejoicing in God her Saviour; at half-past eleven o’clock, August 28, 1834, leaving a husband, and an only daughter to lament their loss.
Signed in behalf of Hull Quarterly Meeting.
T. Smith, President.
T. Holliday, Secretary.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 265-266.