- Born: 26 Nov 1824, Sandiacre
- Christened: 16 Jan 1825, Sandiacre 1
The Christian miscellany, and family visitor 1846
MEMOIR OF MR. JOHN SMEDLEY,
THE benefits of pious parentage and religious education are great ; and happy are those young persons who enjoy and profit by them. Such were the privileges of John Smedley, the son of Mr. John Smedley, who has been for many years a useful Class-Leader at Sandiacre, in the Ilkeston Circuit.
He was born at the above-named village, November 26th, 1824. Under the instructions of his pious mother he very early contracted a love for he word of God, and took great delight in reading the holy Scriptures; and, as far as he understood them, greatly admired the truths they contained.
One day when he was very young, he came home from school, and exclaimed, " mother, I have read such a chapter to-day that I shall never forget! I will read it again to you, mother." When he had read the chapter, he exclaimed, " 0 mother, what a book is this ! They talk of this good book and the other good book ; but there is no book like the Bible."
His attachment to the holy Scriptures grew up with him, and the effects were manifest in all his deportment. Being regularly taken to the house of God, the word preached had an impressive influence on his mind ; and from u child he was serious and thoughtful, and was preserved from vices and follies that uninstructed children are too apt to fall into.
When about thirteen years of age, his mother invited him to accompany her to a band-meeting, on June 4th, 1838. The Lord was powerfully present, and much good was done ; and many who then received spiritual benefit gratefully remember it to this day. At this meeting our young friend was greatly and deeply affected, and resolved to devot< himself more fully to God, and seek with all diligence and earnestness the salvation
of his soul.
He now commenced meeting in Mr. Doar's class ; and learn, from a record found subsequent to his death, that after meeting a few times, he found peace with God, and went on his way rejoicing. He was at this time a pupil in the grammar-school at Risley ; and he states that at first he was the object of much ridicule to his schoolfellows ; but by steady perseverance and consistent conduct this was overcome, and he was much respected by those who had been his persecutors. Having a desire to be useful according to his ability, he became a Teacher in the Sunday-school. He was diligent and persevering in the discharge of the duties he had engaged to perform, until sickness prevented his further attendance. Bible Society being formed in the village, notwithstanding his youth, he was appointed to the office of Secretary ; the duties of which he fulfilled with great satisfaction to all parties concerned, for four years. It is evident that he was very deeply impressed with the necessity of early piety : the papers above referred to contain many extracts and some original remarks on the subject, showing the duty, necessity, and advantage of obeying the injunction, " Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." He took great delight in the means of grace, and was not an inattentive hearer of the word of God, but heard as for eternity ; and that he might not be a forgetful hearer, he took down sketches of the sermons which he heard, with the text, the name of the Preacher, and the date of the day on which he heard them, many of which he has left amongst hit papers. While this pious youth was "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord," he was "not slothful in business," hut diligent in attending to the duties devolving upon him, and assiduous in his temporal employment. For some years, by his industry and the perquisites allowed him by his father, he obtained more than was needful to support himself; and having a little property to leave behind him, he gave it on his death-bed to his beloved mother, as an expression of his filial regard; out of the interest of which she intends to continue his subscriptions to the various charities to which he contributed while be BIOGRAPHY. vrai liviug. It would seem, from many piece* he