Hazell, William (1818-1887)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by E Rawlings

Respect for one of the best of men and a sense of duty to the living impel me to write the following of the Rev. W. Hazell, now with God. He was born in Ramsbury, Wilts, on the 7th of May, 1818. His parents were highly respectable persons, rigid members of the Church of England, and having little regard for Dissent in any shape. When ten years old his mother died, which event left a deep impression on his mind and excited in him a desire to know Christ Jesus as his Saviour.

About the year 1838 a gracious revival broke out in Ramsbury, among the Primitive Methodists, and to the amazement of many he was soon won for Christ, and from that time the life of Jesus became the model of his life, His spirit the law of his temper and disposition, and His sacrifice the object of his faith. His love for the Saviour was so manifest in his life that the church of his choice, perceiving in him adaptation for usefulness in the Lord’s vineyard, in about ten months after his conversion called him to the work of the ministry; and for thirty-one years he laboured on the following stations:—Wallingford, Micheldever, Motcombe (twice), Banbury, Brinkworth (twice), Andover, Cirencester, Oxford, Southampton, Salisbury, and Belfast (Ireland); and wherever he went his ministrations and pastoral work were valued by his people, and his name in homes he visited is as ointment poured forth.

Having responded to the call of the church to be a minister of the Gospel of Christ, he resolved on the cultivation of his moral and spiritual nature, and this he did by prayer and fasting, and carefully reading the Holy Scriptures and all the books at his command, which helped him to a knowledge of the deep things of God. He was a great reader, a deep thinker, and a fluent speaker, and clearly and earnestly showed his hearers the things he had learned of God. When he laboured with me in Hampshire, I was often with him, and admired him much for his spirituality of mind, his devotion to his work, and his loyalty to his church. I felt thankful for such a colleague.

His manly Christian spirit, and general knowledge of men and things, were observed by the brethren in Brinkworth District, and they appointed him to superintend some important stations, and entrusted him with important offices, which he filled with credit to himself and benefit to the district: for he was a good minister of the New Testament, and a faithful and prudent administrator of Connexional laws. The Rev. J. Wright, who was often with him on the platform and in the committee room, says: ‘A more honourable and unselfish minister I never met with; he was no trimmer—was too honest for a time-serving policy.’ This testimony all his brethren would bear of him. He was a true lover of his church, of her polity and doctrines, and holiness was the passion of his life.

He was much beloved by his brethren, and highly esteemed by all who knew him, for his works’ sake, and many souls will be the crown of his rejoicing. Through physical infirmity, in the year 1870 he was obliged to seek superannuation, and he went to live at Bath. By reason of much suffering he was unable to do any pulpit work, but in his solitude he enjoyed communion with God, and often wrote useful letters to his friends.

The Rev. W.E. Crombie, who visited Bath for the benefit of his health, says, ‘ During my stay in Bath I always felt better in spiritual things from company with Mr. Hazell, and was pleased to notice his deep interest in the progress of Primitive Methodism, locally and Connexionally.’ The Rev. Murray Wilson says: ‘After an unbroken friendship with the Rev. W. Hazell for more than thirty years, I may be expected to know something of his character and worth. Having frequently visited his circuits for special services, and often met him in private life, I shared the general conviction, that he lived in constant fellowship with heaven. How he laboured in the years of his active ministry, and how earnestly he sought to win souls for Christ!’ He loved the gates of Zion, and prayed for the peace of Jerusalem, The proofs of his piety were golden links in the chain of his holy life. When health permitted he was present in the services of the sanctuary. The feeblest in the pulpit found him prayerful in the pew. His relish for the means of grace, his regard for the word of life, and his allegiance to the doctrines of the Methodist faith, were the fruit of a tree whose roots were grounded in the depths of the heart. Like the sunshine that brightens on the mountain and comes down to the glade to illumine insect life, his godliness shone with a genial light over everything in daily experience.

A severe shock to his nervous system in the summer of 1887 was declared by medical opinion to be his death blow, and though all that could be done was wisely prescribed and promptly administered, his bodily strength gradually gave way. However, the ‘swelling of Jordan’ awakened no fear, his implicit trust in Christ enabled him, when dying, to exclaim in triumph, ‘Victory, victory, through the blood of the Lamb!’ His eye of faith, as he read the inspired page, saw the far-spreading prospect of eternal life, like a vast map of the world, opening to his enraptured vision. Sufferings, intense and prolonged, were borne with exemplary patience, and the unremitting attention of his devoted wife was lovingly appreciated. On the Friday before his death the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was celebrated, by his request, and the solemn service will long be remembered by the few relatives and friends who were present,

Night and day we watched by his bedside, until early on the following Monday, Nov. 14, when he entered into the rest that remaineth for the people of God.

The interment took place in the Locksbrook Cemetery, on Wednesday, Nov. 16th, when the service was conducted by the Rev. Murray Wilson, assisted by the Revs. L. Norris, T. Meakin, and J.H. Daish. On a subsequent Sunday evening the sermon, In Memoriam, was preached in the Claremont chapel, Bath, by Mr. Wilson to a deeply sympathizing congregation. May readers and writer, with the sorrowing widow, meet him in the everlasting home.

Family

William was born on 7 May 1818 at Ramsbury, Wiltshire, to parents Richard, a farmer, and Lucy. He was baptised on 26 July 1818 at Ramsbury.

He married Eliza Lambert (abt1821-1897) in the summer of 1847 at Oxford, Oxfordshire.

William died on 14 November 1887 at Bath, Somerset.

Circuits

  • 1840 Wallingford
  • 1842 Sheffield Green
  • 1844 Stratford
  • 1845 Southam
  • 1847 Yeovil
  • 1848 Motcombe
  • 1850 Brinkworth
  • 1853 Andover
  • 1854 Cirencester
  • 1857 Southampton
  • 1860 Brinkworth
  • 1863 Motcombe
  • 1866 Oxford
  • 1868 Salisbury
  • 1869 Belfast
  • 1871 Bath (Sup)

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1889/628

PM Minutes 1889/27

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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