Ralph Smith,of Houghton-le-Spring
To the Book Committee.
The following brief account of the sudden removal of one of our young members from us into another and better world has been thought suitable for insertion in the Children’s Magazine; and may the Lord make it a blessing to those by whom it is designed. I am yours &c. J Lightfoot.
RALPH SMITH, the youngest son of James and Rebecca Smith, of Colliery Row, in the parish of Houghton-le-Spring, in Sunderland Circuit, was born January 1, 1811, and began to meet with us in class about twelve months ago. How he was led to a discovery of his state by nature, or to cherish those holy impressions which terminated in a sound conversion to God, has not been clearly ascertained. …His class leader….says,”His manner of expressing himself was scriptural; his deportment serious; and, if required to give out a verse or pray, (as the young ones often are in class meetings 😉 he frequently selected one of the most solemn, such as,
“ Oh God my heart with love inflame,” But especially,
“Alas! How soon this body dies!
Tis but an earthly clod,”
And prayed in a sensible manner ……
The manner of his death was as follows: on Friday the 1st August 1824, being engaged down in the pit, he made an exchange of situations with another boy in the same employ, for a while; where he had not been more than ten minutes, when a stone suddenly falling, was the instrument employed to usher him into another world at the age of thirteen years and seven months.
Yours &c. J Lightfoot.
Ref: P.M. Children’s Magazine 1824 Vol 1 page 153