Burden, Frederick (1841-1863)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W. Hazell

FREDERICK BURDEN was born at Longburton, in the county of Dorset, in the year 1841. Being blessed with pious parents, he was taught from infancy to fear God, and was very early the subject of the Spirit’s operations. On many occasions, while quite a child, he would retire to weep over his sins, and to form resolutions of amendment; but his goodness, like the early cloud and morning dew, soon passed away. As he grew older he received much harm from light reading, for whenever his convictions became painful, he sought relief in some romantic story or enchanting novel, which effectually dissipated his serious thoughts and grieved away the Holy Spirit, and so hardened his heart that for a time the most powerful appeals from the pulpit, and the most tender expostulations in private, failed to awaken in him any religious emotions. 

But in the year 1854, Gillingham, the place where he resided, was visited with a gracious outpouring of the Spirit of God, and he again became the subject of powerful convictions, and after undergoing a great deal of mental distress, he saw clearly that salvation was by grace, through faith, and cast his guilty soul on the precious blood of Christ, and realised a consciousness of sins forgiven, and was filled with peace and joy. In due time his name appeared on the preachers’ plan, but being of a nervous temperament and constitutionally shy, he was subjected to severe temptations and buffetings from the enemy, and in the hours of gloom and discouragement he resolved to abandon the work; but the gracious God watched over, upheld, and kept him; and he laboured on in a local capacity till the age of eighteen, when the Southampton circuit called him into the itinerancy, and he continued in it till the disease which terminated his mortal life compelled him to resign, and return home. 

He entered the ministry with much fear and trembling, but with a fixed resolution to prepare himself to discharge its important duties with credit to himself and with benefit to others. He rose regulary at four o’clock, and devoted his mornings to study and private prayer, his afternoons to visiting and preparing for his evening appointments. Having first-rate natural abilities he rapidly increased in knowledge, and being entirely devoted to God he grew in grace, and bade fair to become one of the most pious, spiritual, and intelligent of preachers. He adopted the wise plan of taking the best models for his guide, both mentally and spiritually, and had God spared his life, I doubt not but that he would have been raised to a degree of excellence which would have made him a model man. Excepting his voice, which was weak, and which would have militated against him as a public speaker, he was everything desirable for a candidate for our ministry. 

He was humble, meek, diligent, kind, courteous, spiritual, prayerful, all given up to God and the work of the ministry, and needed checking instead of spurring, for so ardent was he to obtain knowledge, purity, and spiritual power, that his nights were frequently spent in tears and groans, and his days in fasting and prayer. Being early called to grapple with death, he was found ready, and during the time consumption was wasting away his youthful frame he was patient, resigned, and happy. In a letter, he says, “My medical attendant regards my case as hopeless, and I am sinking gradually into the grave, but my prospects are bright and glorious.” The consolations of the Gospel abounded in him, and he exhorted his father to preach Christ to all, and as he neared the grave, he experienced more of the power of religion, and when the final struggle came, he sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, in the twenty-second year of his age, and the ninth of his spiritual life, shouting victory through the blood of the Lamb.

“Ye golden lamps of heaven, farewell, with all your feeble light:
Farewell, thou ever-changing moon, pale empress of the night:
And thou, refulgent orb of day, in brighter flames arrayed;
My soul, which springs beyond thy sphere, no more demands thy aid.
Ye stars are but the shining dust of my Divine abode,
The pavement of those heavenly courts where I shall reign with God.”


Frederick was born in 1841 at Longburton, Dorset, to parents Charles, a flour miller (1851), and Jane.

Frederick was buried on 18 July 1863 at Gillingham, Dorset.


  • 1860 Newbury


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1864/486

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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