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as a heavy and irreparable loss. He continued under the paternal roof till he was nearly twenty years of age; and by close application to business, he materially assisted his parents in rearing their other children in decent independence.

In those days the word of the Lord was precious in Woodbridge and its neighbourhood: there was no open vision, and great darkness, consequently, rested on the minds of the people. A series of moral precepts, urged by unevangelical motives, formed the substance of the discourses which were delivered in the parish church. Under spiritual regimen so meager and defective, it was no wonder that Mr. Candler approached the borders of manhood without having any distinct perception of the plague of his heart, the extent of his duty, the way of faith, or the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul. For his actual transgressions he felt keen remorse, and was often the subject of powerful convictions: but he knew not from whom these convictions came, nor to what they were intended to lead ; and hence he satisfied himself with vowing against particular sins, and with framing vague plans of future amendment. He was passionately fond of dancing; and his devotedness to this dissipating and ensnaring amusement, proved a barrier both to the improvement of his mind and the salvation of his soul.

Mr. Candler could do nothing by halves. Whatever he took in hand he prosecuted with ardour; and whether learning his trade, or pursuing his pleasures, he was ambitious to excel. Having assisted in extending and improving his father's business, till a younger brother was able to take his place, he resolved to seek in other towns that proficiency in his calling, which he could not attain in his own. It was while revolving this matter in his mind, that he awoke up to see the disadvantage under which he must labour, if he went forth into the world without even the elements of education. And with that promptitude for which he was remarkable through life, he determined to go to an evening school, and not to move from home till he could at least read his Bible, and write his own name.

When he left Woodbridge he was in the bloom of youth; his person was tall and athletic, and his countenance animated and prepossessing. Nothing had as yet occurred to damp the ardour of his early hopes. The whole world was before him; and though dependent on the labour of his hands, he was determined to see its wonders, and to taste its pleasures. But God's thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways his ways. In compliance with the invitation of a relative, Mr. Candler made Colchester his first station on his way to the great metropolis; and being impressed with the kindness of his friend, and pleased with the general appearance of the town, he sought and soon obtained employment in his trade. This visit proved a turning-point in his life; and he often referred to it, as affording a striking illustration of that scripture:

"I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight."

He had not been many days in the seclusion of his new situation before his broken vows and abortive schemes of reformation revived in his memory. He began to suspect that the world could not make him happy; and feeling the love of sinful pleasures strong in his nature, he trembled at the consequences of launching into life without God and religion. It is true, he regarded religion as a system of self-mortification; he expected to find the yoke of Christ irksome; and he had no conception that His service was perfect freedom: but he knew that the wages of sin was death, and he thought any temporal sacrifice preferable to the endurance of eternal misery. After much consultation with his own spirit, he said, "I have often purposed to lead a new life; but the solicitations of friends, falling in with my sinful inclinations, have as often prevented. My present circumstances present a favourable opportunity for my turning to God. Providence has separated me from my old companions. It is therefore now or never; and, by God's help, I will begin without delay." While he was musing one day on his former ways, and was bemoaning his ignorance, irresolution, and sinfulness in the sight of God, he heard the town-crier announce that the Rev. John Wesley would preach that evening in the Methodist chapel. Mr. Candler had never heard a Methodist Preacher in his life; and, moved partly by curiosity, and partly by a desire to find rest to his soul, he determined to attend. Of the doctrine of the sermon, or the train of scriptural illustration adopted by the veteran Divine, he was unable, in his latter years, to give any detailed account; but the impression which the whole service made on his mind was deep and salutary. He felt that he was a sinner in heart and in life. He saw that he could not save himself; and, learning that Jesus was the sinner's Friend, he determined to throw himself at his feet, and wait, though it should be till life's close, for his great salvation. He came into this weeknight assembly an unbeliever and unlearned, and he was convinced of all, he was judged of all. The secrets of his heart were made manifest, and he was ready to fall down on his face and worship, confessing of a truth that God was in the midst.

This was the last visit Mr. Wesley ever paid to Colchester; and the following notice of it occurs in his Journal :—

"Monday, October 11th, 1790.-I went on to Colchester, and still found matter of humiliation. The society was lessened, and cold enough ; preaching again was discontinued, and the spirit of Methodism quite gone, both from the Preachers and the people. Yet we had a wonderful congregation in the evening, rich and poor, Clergy and laity. So we had likewise on Tuesday evening. So that I trust God will at length build up the waste places."

The giving up of the preaching in Colchester at this time was partly the result of clerical interference. The Rev. Mr. S——, of St. Peter's, had adopted the theory, that, wherever the Gospel was preached in the church, Methodist preaching ought to be discontinued, and the societies given up to the care of the resident Clergyman. In conformity with these views, he was unwearied, and not very scrupulous, in his endeavours to draw the Colchester Methodists wholly over to the Church; and to persuade them, and all who were friendly to them, that the Preachers ought to leave the town, and confine their visits to more destitute places. By these means the society was lessened, and the Preachers were so dispirited, that they gave up the field to their influential rival. Mr. Wesley having been informed that gifts, not to say bribes, had been added to persuasions, to draw off those who were the fruit of his labours, gave the following rebuke to Mr. S in the course of his sermon : "I understand there is a sheep-stealer in this town,

who takes both

Now, I charge

sheep and lambs from his neighbour's fold at will. that man to desist; or to meet me, and answer for his deeds, at the bar of God in that day." The Reverend gentleman was present; and his subsequent conduct afforded some proof that he was not a forgetful hearer.

Though Mr. Candler resolved, while hearing Mr. Wesley, to cast in his lot with the Methodists, he did not immediately become a member of their society. His judgment was convinced, and his conscience was awakened; but his heart was unrenewed, and he feared lest the love of worldly pleasure should again revive and lead him captive. He intended that his union with the people of God should be for life; and, being very ignorant of divine things, he counted the cost, and took time to make himself acquainted with their doctrines and discipline. They soon recognised him as a penitent inquirer; and no pains were spared to excite him to an instant and unreserved surrender of himself to God. By attending the means of grace, his self-knowledge increased daily; the vanity of the world became more palpable to his eye; the disguises under which he had consented to view dancing, with its ensnaring accompaniments, were torn off; and he judged this, his besetting sin, to be exceeding sinful. While he was trembling under the law as a schoolmaster, and judging himself unworthy to breathe the vital air, he was not a little surprised to be addressed one day by one of the members as follows:-" Friend Candler, I have spent three nights in prayer for you. You can sing, and we want a singer. You need salvation, and our God can save you. Now, I have been praying that the Lord would convert your soul, and then give you to us to help us to shout his praise."

The individual who uttered the address was James Johnson, a poor man, but distinguished for piety and strong sense. He had observed and deplored the great evils consequent upon leaving the singing

department of our worship to the control of persons who were neither converted to God, nor members of Christian society; and, as the speediest and most effectual way of curing these evils, he went to Him from whom all holy desires and good gifts do proceed, and entreated that as He gave converted Ministers for the pulpit, and Leaders for the classes, so He would be pleased to give them a converted man to lead the singing. His success may well encourage imitation. In a comparatively short time William Candler, and Edward his brother, (who, though blind, possessed musical powers of a high order,) were both made happy in God; and under their joint management this delightful part of divine worship was conducted for the space of twenty years, in a manner at once attractive and edifying.

In 1792 the Rev. William Jenkins was appointed to the Colchester Circuit; and under his energetic and affectionate ministry and superintendence the work of God was revived and extended. Among the many who were given to him in these parts for a crown of joy and rejoicing, was the subject of this memoir. The following is Mr. Candler's account of his conversion :

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"I was the first person Mr. Jenkins admitted into the society after his coming into the Circuit. Before I heard him I thought I must do some great thing' before God would pardon my great sins; but under one of his first sermons, I saw clearly that salvation was of grace through faith. I might have seen this before, for the same doctrine was preached by others; but the veil was on my heart. That I might enjoy his conversation, and assist in singing, I frequently accompanied him to his distant appointments. It was while on one of these excursions, that I found the pearl of great price. We had had a love-feast at Manningtree; and while Mr. Jenkins was praying at its close, I was enabled to rely on the blood of the covenant; and such peace and joy flowed into my heart, that I could have preached Christ to all, and cried in death, Behold, behold the Lamb!' On my return home, everything in creation seemed changed, and all reminded me of God. The evening was fine; and as I gazed on the moon and stars, I said with rapture, My Father made them all!' From that time to the present, which is about forty-eight years, I have been kept in the good way. But in all that I have done, I see not one meritorious act on which I can depend for salvation. Christ alone is the sure foundation, and the sinner's only hope."

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At the time Mr. Candler was brought to the knowledge of the truth, none of his relatives were religious; and, thinking that much religion had made him mad, they strove to moderate his zeal, to prejudice him against his Methodist friends, and to induce him to join with them in vain amusements. But while he appreciated their kindness, and was obliging in all the affairs and courtesies of life, he was unmovable in all matters which concerned a good con

science, and the law of his God. Soon after he entered into the liberty of the Gospel, his eldest brother returned from America, where he had been resident for some years; and the different members of the family met to congratulate him on the occasion. To heighten the enjoyment of the evening, one of the company proposed that dancing should be introduced. To this all agreed, except our young friend, who stated, that he thought they might spend their time more rationally. While the dance proceeded his weaned soul yearned over those engaged in it, and his heart was lifted up in prayer that God would convince them, and preserve him. God heard his cry: the Spirit of conviction seized his younger brother Jesse; and on reaching the lower end of the room he sat down, and declared against the amusement. This drew the ire and the argument of the whole company upon William. Some laughed at his weakness; others censured him for casting a gloom over the festivities of the evening; one quoted the parable of the prodigal son, to prove that music and dancing were scriptural modes of welcoming the return of a relative; and, last of all, his father came, and with tears said, "William, my son, if you should never dance again, dance to-night, though it be only to please your aged father." This appeal touched the tenderest feelings of his heart; and, but for Almighty aid, he must have yielded. Before he had time to reply, the conviction flashed through his mind, that his conduct that night would probably decide, not only his own destiny, but also the degree of his future religious influence with his unconverted relatives. He felt it to be a moment on which events of infinite importance depended; and, invigorated by this solemn consideration, he mildly, but firmly, answered, that, as they all knew, he was once as fond of such amusements as any of them; but that God had given him to see their utter vanity, and had led him to seek his happiness in things more suited to his rational and immortal nature. 66 But," he added, "as I find my presence has become disagreeable, I will retire, and leave you to spend the evening as you think proper." To which his elder brother replied, "No, William, you shall not retire. We must not deprive ourselves of your company. If your conscience will not allow you to join us, the dancing shall be given up."

Mr. Candler thought that if religion was worth anything, it was worth everything. He determined, from the commencement of his Christian course, to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," leaving it with Him to add or to withhold the things after which the Gentiles seek. The happy results of his decision soon became apparent. From the night referred to above, the arrows of conviction pierced his brother Jesse's soul; and he soon removed to Colchester, that he might enjoy the Methodist ministry, and profit by the example and counsels of his brother. He joined the Wesleyan society, and after a few weeks was filled" with all joy and peace

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