Monday, September 12, 2016

An Intinerant Preacher

Below is an excerpt from "An Intinerant Preacher or, Sketches from the Life of Rev. Charles Haime ©1865. This was written by his son who was also an ordained minister. Charles was a Methodist Preacher living in England. He started his preaching ministry in 1800.

" Newport, June 1, 1839. "

My Dear Brother,

"In the year 1800 I began as a local preacher in the Salisbury circuit, (my first plan, by Mr. Horner, I have now); then I was called out by Mr. Longley to supply the place of a young man who left the work in the Salisbury circuit. For years I was employed by Dr. Coke as a home missionary in the north of Devon, now three good circuits, Barnstaple, Bideford, Holsworthy; then I had another mission, which took in (parts of) Somerset, Dorset, and Devon, now also three circuits, South Petherton, Brid- port, and Axminster. After this I was in the great revival — at it night and day; conversions by hundreds and thousands, and many believers made perfect in love. I had a back for any bed, a stomach for any food, a face for any weather, and strength for any work. Moderation in religion I knew not. Thus I werit on, in the name of the Lord, till a month since. Now my infirmities are many. From great strength I am brought to great weakness and giddiness in my head ; my voice also fails. And now, what do I feel ? what do I fear ? Almighty God! save me from living to be good for nothing! I pray that I may be of use in the country as a local preacher.

' If in this feeble flesh I may
Awhile show forth Thy praise,
Jesu, support the tottering clay,
And lengthen out my days.'

" Be so kind as to put me down for Newport, supernumerary not by age, accident, or disease, but by extraordinary labour in the Lord's vineyard; worn out in the work."

Extraordinary labour! to some this may sound like the boasting of the old man; but the calm review of his life will prove that it was no vain boast. Few are the ministers, now or then, that could or would do what he did. lie was a labourer in God's vineyard, and never stinted time nor toil.

In the first plan here referred to, his name appeared as " an exhorter;" in this letter he describes himself as then a local preacher. There was a reason for this, which will also show that my father's work, as a preacher, commenced with extraordinary scenes. He had gone forth to exhort in some neglected village, and, whilst delivering his message, he was arrested by order of the man who had the cure of souls in that parish. He appeared to answer for his conduct before one of the magistrates, a certain "Squire Harris." The clergyman brought forward the charge, that this-said Charles Haime had been preaching in his parish; without any thought of evasion or extenuation, he replied that he had not been preaching, but simply exhorting. The Squire very convincingly showed him that an exhorter was a preacher, and then asked- him what right he had to go about preaching. All fear was taken away; and in answering the question he commenced preaching, though not exhorting, and that with such liberty and power, that the listening parson turned very pale, and the listening magistrate felt deeply interested, and then said, " That is enough, I see you are called to preach; go about your business." As before he had willingly obeyed a similar command from a military officer, so he obeyed the command of this civil officer, therein fulfilling the behest of a higher power.

The magistrate's lecture on " exhoiters, alias preachers " was ever remembered, and to the last his plans only acknowledged " preachers and preachers on trial." As an exhorter and local preacher he continued to labour on till the year 1804. At the March quarterly meeting the Rev. Thos. Longley proposed that he should be recommended to the ensuing Conference as a fit candidate for the ministry. This was cordially agreed to by all, save the good old class-leader and himself. The former thought that he was already in a galloping consumption, and that the work of a travelling preacher would soon kill him ; the latter deemed himself unfit for so great a work, and therefore hesitated. Time, however, has proved the mistake of the former; and thousands of converted souls have also proved that, however unfit for the work the subject of this memoir may have been in himself, yet God had doubtless called him, and his sufficiency was of God. The quarterly meeting had scarcely passed when Mr. Longley's colleague retired from the work, and the following note was sent to Charles Haime by his affectionate superintendent

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