The Definitive History of the Surname STABLES in Yorkshire

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"The Notices of the Stables Family"
by William Stables (1794-1862)

Page 31 (Brian and Agnes Proctor had): (continued)
     VI. Mary. Married May 1802, when twenty two, to William Bentley,
the younger, a neighbour. With him she lived at Pannel Hall in very
affluent circumstances, but perhaps not in very great domestic comfort.
He died rather suddenly July 13, 1843, aged 64, and at his funeral I
attended. She died Octr 7th, 1846, aged 66, rather suddenly, but was
not much regretted by her family. They had: Thomas, born June 2, 1802,
married to Mary Ann Wright, Octr 9, 1833, still living at Pannel Hall;
Mary, married to William Wright of Beckwith House; Eliza, a spinster,
still living with her brother Thomas, and Anabelle, who died a spinster
in the present year. Mary Ann, wife of Thomas died Dec. 7th. 1845,
aged 39.
     VII. Elizabeth. When about forty years of age (or near it) she
married to William Dickenson, a farmer at Goldsbro, a man several years
her junior, and to him she had no offspring. They struggled on for a
number of years, with a considerable farm, being kept down by want of
more capital. There she died. They were both Wesleyans, and were the
principal support of the cause in that neighbourhood. He was considered
rather a weak minded man, but she a very active and managing housewife.
Sometime, but not very long, after her death, the Earl of Harewood’s
making some alteration in the farms at Goldsbro, took his away from him,
but offered him a smaller one at Weardley, of which he accepted, and
removed his goods and chattels there about 1844. In a year or two after
he married a young woman who was some distant relation of his, and whose
parents resided In London. She had been on a visit once or twice at
his house, but was a very unsuitable person for a farmer's wife. After
carrying on for two or three years, he entirely failed as a farmer, and
has since been employed as a farm laborer by the Earl's farmer. He is
still in this capacity residing in the house he had occupied when he
had the Meade(?) Farm (1855). I believe they have now four children.
When they had two I was at the house once or twice as a Wesleyan Local
Preacher, and their children were among the worst managed I ever met with.
     VIII. Sarah, married about 1811 or 12, being then twenty‑two or
three years of age, to Thomas Knapton. His native place was somewhere
not far from Weeton, but he had been apprenticed to a butcher and I
believe that at the time of his marriage he was in business as a master
butcher in Leeds. He was a quick and sharp man, but was considered
rather too easy for this world. At any rate, his business did not
answer well, and about 1821 he relinquished it and came to occupy his
father‑in‑law's little farm at Pannal. There they resided until about
the time of Brian Proctor's death. When his son‑in‑law, William Bentley,
contracting with him for the whold [sic. hold] of his landed property. Mrs. Bentley
took what had been Brian Procter's estate into his own occupancy, and
let to his brother‑in‑law, Thos. Knapton, his
Page 32 Forest Moor Farm, being by the side of the Leeds and Harrogate road
at the top of Alm‑ford Bank. It is but a poor farm, and he but a poor
farmer and report said that Mr. B. could not got his rent for it. So
it was, however, that after being there two or three years, Mr. B.
moved them off. They then went to Knaresbro where he butchered a little
and then occupied a small inn, being the King's Arms in the High Street.
After being there three or four years, that also was left, and he began
to butcher a little again. They had a son which was taught the trade,
and I think that the business was done in his name; and for some years
at the close of life they were considerably dependent on their friends.
Sometime before his death he had a paralitic stroke, and used to creep
about a vary pitiable objecy. He died at Knaresbrough. Sarah still
resides at Knaresbro. The last I heard of her she occupied a cottage
very near the Wesleyan Chapel, which was her regular place of worship,
though I do not know whether she ever was a member of the Society.
They had seven or eight children, most of them daughters, some of whom
married very well. Their son did not succeed as a butcher at
Knaresbro, and I understood removed to Leeds to work as a journeyman.

     SAMUEL, the 5th son of William and Ann Procter was apprenticed
to a joiner and cabinet maker. He was a natural genius and an extra
good hand at his business. After his apprenticeship was over he became
a very wild dissipated young man, and being of an enterprising disposi-
­tion he traveled about to several of the large towns in the Kingdom.
Staying a while here and there, and working at his trade as a journey-
­Man, returning again into his native county, he found employment at
Leeds, and there he got married and afterwards was more settled.
It is probably, however, that his wandering kind of life, had encouraged,
if it had not first brought on his love of strong drink. His indulging
so in this practise most likely brought on that disease which ended in
death, which took place at Leeds when he was about 40 years of age.
Leaving no issue and his wife having some separate property of her own,
he bequeathed the principal part of his to his brothers. (vide Brian)
Page 33 (The descendants of John and Elizabeth Stables of Stank were:)
VIII. JAMES, baptized June 19th, 1710; died March 10th, 1722, and
interred in the Churchyard at Harewood, where a tombstone erected to the
memory of him and his Mother says he was aged 14 years. This might be
correct, supposing that he had not been baptized until some time after his
birth. Having now prematurely, because of its little moment, noticed
their eighth child, I now return the seventh, who in the order of
Providence was he who should hand down the family to posterity.
(The descendants of John and Elizabeth Stables of Stanke were:)
VII. WILLIAM. He was born Dec 12, 1707, and baptized Dec. 15, 1707, the
same year. When about thirty years of age he succeeded to the farm of his
ancestors at Hetherick, now called Stanke. This was about ten years before
the death of his father, who afterwards resided with him as an inmate. When
he was about 33 years of age he married Miss Jane Moiser, of Leathby. Her
Family was in very very respectable circumstances, but the tradition says
they did not live very comfortably together; Not that he was wanting in
affection for her, but was the unavoidable consequence of his naturally
whimmy, uneasy, nattering, scolding, disposition, which had been fostered by
33 years of a bachelor's life. Hers was a temper the very reverse, remarkable
for her softness and mildness. She had no great broils with her husband, for
she would not quarrel or contend. His disposition, however, perpetually to
find fault, prevented them from enjoying that cordial union of heart and
affection which is so essential to the possession of happiness in married life,
His treatment, however, preyed on her spirits, and often when he had been
scolding about this. that, or the other, or about nothing, would she retire to
weep in secret, and to pour out her tears to that God, who ever regards the
oppressed with compassion. She enjoyed, generally, but poor health of body,
and ultimately left this vale of tears by a consumption Jany. 14th, 1747,
being in the 28th year of her age, having lived with her husband about seven
years, but without bearing him any child. The character that she left behind
her was that of a sensible, prudent, clever, careful woman, who in life was
much respected, and at her death lamented.
It is very probable that the occupying of his sister Procter's land
at Pannal sometimes brought him into contact with Mr. Wm. Bentley, and his
family of Pannal Hall, and it was with his sister Miss Mary Bentley' that
he ultimately formed a second matrimonial union (1753). She was a tall, lusty,
very genteel looking person, was of an amiable disposition, very mild and calm
in her temper, but free from that softness which bore down under her griefs
her predecessor. Herprudence dictated to her the propriety of studying her
husband's disposition, and her observation pointed out his weaknesses and
infirmities. She learned to bear her troubles with great patience, endured
his scolding and flighting very quietly, and never gave him a high word in
return, or one that was wide of the mark.
The portion that she brought him was 400 pounds, In 1756 he found
opportunity of purchasing of some commissioners appointed by the Lord
Chancellor, of whom Sir Henry Ibbotson
Page 34 of Leeds was the acting man, a house and premises in Kirkby-Overblow,
three fields called Barbican Closes. (what is now our High wood and first and
second closes in Scalebars) and a piece of meadow in the Town's Ings, about
12 acres. for 366 pounds, which he was enabled to pay for by the portion
which his second wife brought (Brian Proctor)
After living with her about six years, in as much harmony as his uneasy
disposition allowed him to do, he was called to surrender her like his former
wife to the Icy arms of Death. It was only a little time after the birth of their
fourth child, that they removed from Stanke, where the family had resided at
least a century, to a farm called Sandygate, also belonging to Edwin
Lascelled, Esqr., since created Earl of Harwood. It is about half a mile north
of their former residence, and not far from Harewood Miles, (and the house is
still, 1855, called Stables House) Previous to their removal, a new house
was built for them, which as soon as finished, they went to occupy. But this
being too soon after the labour and peril of childbearing, the dampness of the
walls, and the inconveniences attending removing and fitting things into
their new places, were the occasion of her taking a severe cold, from which
she never recovered, but continued in a poor languishing way until Septr 3rd,
in the same year (1759)0 when she departed this life, aged 32 years.
Being thus bereaved of his second wife, he began to feel some of the
evils arising from a state of widowhood, the greatest of which was his being
left with four young children. The infant was immediately put out to
nurse, and the next youngest (my father) he sent to his nephew, Brian
Proctor, where he remained about eighteen months, Many years ago I met
with a very old man at Robert Lewis' at Triclinghole (?) that told me he
had often ridden my father on his back, during the period he was a little
boy at Brian Procter's.
He paid much attention to his children's education, sending them at
a proper age, to good schools, and incurring thereby an expense rather
unusual in those days. He also personally took much pains with them,
endeavouring to convey information to their minds, and no doubt according
to the light he had, he endeavoured to train them up in the way they
should go. He was himself a very strict Churchman, and he was very positive
in requiring of his children an exact observance of the Sabbath Day. Aunt
Burdsall told me that, once when she was a girl, she and my father ran a race
in one of the fields on the Sabbath day. Somehow, their father got to
know what they had been after, and sent for them to come into the house
to him. He was sitting over the fire with his cane or walking stick
between his legs, as he usually sat.
He ordered them to sit down near them, and after lecturing them on their sin
and disobedience, he beat them well with the cane, first one and then the
other of them, for some time, but he cured them - - they never ran any more
races on Sunday.
He always kept his lads at a great distance, especially the eldest,
and the mode of treatment he continued even when they had arrived at
manhood. He was above the drudgery of business, was quite a gentleman in his
ideas and views, and when in company was very lighthearted and cheerful, and
being so fond of talk, he went a good bit into the gay world, and
Page 35  when in company at an Inn would generally throw down, with much cheer-
fulness, more than his regular share of the shot , disdaining to be seen in
anything that had the least appearance of being low and selfish. In the earlier
part of his life he sometimes went to Harrogate a spawing, used to attend the
races, and on horseback followed the sports of the field. He was at that time
keeping two good hackney horses, which, as occasion required, served him
also for hunting horses. He was a man of strict integrity in his dealings
with others, never taking advantage of any one, and in his way was kind
hearted and liberal in his treatment of some. He occasionally lent money to
poor tradesmen or farmers, but when they came to ask his aid, he would
generally give them a good sound rating, in his usual trifling, jesting, ironical,
discouraging style, but yet, in the end, would generally accede to their
On the 5th April 1774, for 1550 pounds, he purchased of his nephews,
James and Brian Procter, what had remained to the time of his death of the
estates of his nephew, Henry Stables, the attorney. Some part of them, he
had first taken a mortgage on (1 June, 1758) and in Augt. 18th, 1769,
agreed for the absolute purchase of the Land Heads containing 14 acres for
587/3/0. Henry, at his decease leaving his two cousins his executors, he
now purchased the whole estate, and thus brought it back to the family.
In the early part of the summer of 1776 ( I believe), being about 10
years before his death, he had a great mortification to endure in most of
his family becoming Methodists. About the same time, both his sons, his
youngest daughter, and his two servants, were all infected with what he
considered the religious mania. The Methodistswere at that day little
known and less beloved, being almost everywhere the subjects of the most
virulent slanders. He being a Gentleman and a High Church
of England man, felt himself much disgraced by his children joining them-selves
to such a set of folks. They used indeed sometimes to go to Collingham, where
the minister of the church, Rev. Mr. Wilson, was a plain, powerful preacher;
but some persons took pains to prejudice their minds against him, though he
preached in a church, as though they believed that he was nothing but a
Methodist at bottom (See some account of a
visit to him by Richard Burdsall - Burdsall's Life, 3rd edition, page 196.)
The Rev. Mr. Jackson, the minister at Harewood, to whom he paid great
deference, encouraged him to treat his children with severity, in order to
break them off from their Methodism by his paternal authority. Various were
the means by which he tried to accomplish his purpose; often he mould scold
them at a most terrible rate, for what he termed their disobedience and their
bringing such disgrace on the family, as was bringing down his grey hairs
with sorrow to the grave. Sometimes he would threaten them, declaring he
would turn them all out of doors, and disinheriting them, would leave his
property to strangers. At other times he would laugh at and ridicule them and
their religion, as though it was mere bypocricy and pretense and show} and
even sometimes would weep over them, as though they were not lost to him and
all that was good, telling them that what money he had spent in their
education, and now it was all lost and thrown away. His children, however,
had counted the cost, and endured the storm. They even proceeded to make
encroachments on him, and his sons requested that they might pray in the
family, and he
Page 36 had too much sense of propriety and reverence for the worship of God to refuse
them this. Jolla, the eldest, was the usual Chaplain, but though he allowed them
to worship, it was too great a stoop for him to bow down at worship conducted
by one of his sons, and when they were about to kneel down, he usually walked
into his parlor, and shutting himself up, remained until they had completed
their devotions. On one occasion, they had a cousin of his, a Miss Elliss, on a
visit with them, and she being upstairs when they were about to have prayer, he
went to the stair door, and calling her by name, wished her to come down,
saying, "John is going to pray", and then walked into his parlour as usual -
evidently showing that though he could not stoop to join them, that it was right
for her to do. so. He used to be pleased to hear them sing, though neither of his
sons was ever much singer. asking at the same time where Mary was, and saying
they would make nothing out without her. - (Aunt Burdsall)
It was in early summer that his family became Methodists, and
having, as he thought, borne his troubles a long time, as the autumn came
on, he thought he had hit on a plan to free him from his sorrows.
Accordingly, when Martinmas came, both his servants were paid their wages,
and sent about their business, and having, two or three years before, bought
the estate at Kirkby-Overblow. in the spring of 1777, he sent his two sons
and his youngest daughter away from him, to the farm at Kirkby. (Note,
added later - - The lease of Thos. Hargreaves could not be out until
1779, but Mrs. Frances Ridgedale said they
came about the same time as them in 1777; so we suppose that Grandfather
had made some private bargain with them, or bought the remainder of the
lease). He did not give them the farm, but allowed them to occupy it jointly,
without paying rent, but they were to give their sister 20 pounds a year
for being their housekeeper. and keep her a pony. He had now only his
eldest daughter with him, so he had things just him own way, as he had
been used to formerly. But, alas! His reprieve was only of a short
continuance, for they had not been gone much more than a year, before this
only comfort deserted him, becoming as bad as any of them, serving the
Lord with all her heart in a Methodistic way. Another thing, too, that
aggravated his distress, was that now his sons and daughters were away
from him, and more at liberty, they had become more conspicuous
Methodists, and they even began to have public meetings, occasionally, in
the house, and I have a certificate from the Archbishop"s Court (19th May,
1779), certifying that the house was duly registered as a place of worship
for protestant dissenters. Their beginning to have meetings very much
offended him, and sometimes in a rage he would threaten to go and set fire to his
house, where they all met together, and burn it over their heads. To such a
pitch did his displeasure arise, that, sometime after they had got settled
at Kirkby, Aunt Burdsall had a very dangerous attack of fever' for some
time there seemed very little hope of her recovery. Uncle and father did
not expect her to survive more than a day or two, and as they thought it a
sad thing for her to die, under her father's frown and displeasure, they
went and begged him to come and see her. But no, he would not enter their
polluted dwelling. They still urging him said, that if he would not
into the house. they would open the window (one sitting
room and he might look in and see her, hinting to him
Page 37 that they thought he would blame himself when it was too late, and she
was gone; but all would not do - if she would die, she might die, for
he would not come at them.
His sons not agreeing very well over the farm, after some time, about
two years, I believe, the younger one. William, my father, returned to him
at Sandygate. He. however, treated him with great harshness, and had
frequent fits of shyness with him. He, however, allowed him to have two or
three little fields, that by some changes had fallen into his own hands, to
make the nest of, he could for himself, he still hating his home with him,
and the fields being full two miles distant. There he almost entirely
wrought with his own hands, and on them he built a barn, some sheds, and
made a small farm yard, carting nearly all the stone from Almscliff himself.
But this plan had another coil - it divided his son's attention, - he was
often away at his own closes, and could not attend to much on his father's
farm. This sometimes made his father scold him. and say, "Thou idle, thou
idle", so the youth was discouraged, or in the pet, and would sometimes be
for a length of time and scarce looked after anything, or did any work on
the farm.
Another thing that added to his trouble was, that 1780, his youngest
daughter married Richard Burdsall, a popular local preacher, but a man in
comparitively humble circumstances. After this event, he made his will,
cutting off his daughter Mary, without anything, except, perhaps, one
shilling, 'while to his elder daughter he had left 40 pounds per year for
life, with 1200 pounds after her death to her issue. Ultimately, in his
last illness, he became reconciled to them, and (6 June, 1787) re-making
his will, he left her the same amount of property, and on the same
conditions, as her sister. He also left his brother-in-law, William Bentley
of Pannal Hall, and his nephew Brian Procter, trustees, to see that his
daughters were not defrauded, and bequeathed to each of them 30 pounds,
thus showing that he had no great confidence in, or high opinion of his
sons. For his daughters were then both of mature age, and quite capable of
defending themselves, and taking care of their own property, without the
intervention of any trustees, and I never heard that either of them had a
finger to lift in the business, except to receive their respective legacies.

As it is so closely connected with my grandfather, I make the
following extract from "The memoirs of Richard Burdsall, written by
himself, third edition, pages 222-237."
My dear wife dying in 1777, I remained a widower for somewhat more
than three years. During this time I spent three-quarters of a year in
the York Circuit, as a traveling preacher. The circumstance which let
to this was the removal of one of the preachers appointed to the circuit,
to Kingswood. My York friends strongly solicited me to supply his place for
a month, which I engaged to do. But when I had fulfilled my engagement for
that month, they were unwilling that I should leave them, and wished to retain
me in the Circuit as a third preacher, for hitherto two preachers had performed
the labour of that circuit. They, accordingly 'wrote to Mr. Wesley on the
subject, and received directions from him to keep me. But they had not
made him acquainted with the circumstances of my having a family of four
children, three of whom were left to the care of my mother, and the
youngest not more than four years old. At the following
Page 38 conference, Mr. Wesley came to York and then I took an opportunity of
making him acquainted with my circumstances. Ho thought, with me,
that it was both right and necessary that I should return and take care of my
children, and my aged mother. I, therefore, left my curcuit and resumed the
charge of my family, my class, and those religious interests I had formerly
watched over. The members of MY class and Mr. John Stables and Joseph
Shearwin, in whose care I had left my class, were glad to see me back again.
Mr. John Stables, Mr. William Stables, and one of their sisters had been
turned out of their father's house for being Methodists, sometime before this,
and all of than met in my class. I am led to mention this circumstance on
account of the influence which it had on my second marriage. When it began
to be whispered about that an intimacy subsisted between Miss Stables and
myself, it appeared to all a very unlikely thing, as I was much older, and had
four children; whereas she was a person of fortune and had many suitors. But
her brother would often say to me, "My sister has many likely offers, yet she
will have none but you." Sometimes I thought that Satan had led me into this
matter; and often did I pray for Divine direction. At length light shone on my
path, and I was led to believe that the Lord would bring it to pass Thus
appeared but one thing that now stood in our way, and that was her father's
consent, but that to me appeared like asking him for his life. I was, however,
providentially helped out of this difficulty; for as I was returning from
preaching one morning. I met him in a narrow lane, at some distance from his
house. Then he saw me, he turned round as though he would not meet me, and
stood still until I came up to him. The lane being strait, he took hold of my
mare by the bridle, and said, "What, are you a riding preacher, now?" I
answered, "To be sure, I am, for you see I am on my mare," He then said, *Are
my sons right, think you, when they can go to a public house and drink with
people and pay nothing? Do you think that that is religion?" I replied, "Sir,
are not to give credit to what the world says of us Methodists, or of your sans. I
believe your sons fear the Lord, and are wishful to do what is right." He said,
"Well, he that rendereth to the end, the same shall be saved." I replied, "That is
God's word, but it will not suit everyone' He then wished to know whom it would
not suit. I answered, *It will not suit the unregenerate; for were I tell sinners
that if they endured to the end in their sins, they shall be saved, I should lie;
for they cannot be saved if they-do. Neither will it suit the self-righteous, for the
Word of God says, "Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the
scribes and the pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of
Heaven." What I said seemed to carry conviction to his mind. He said, "They say
you are a good preacher; I shall come and hear you." "I should be glad to see
you," replied I, "but I fear your master will not let you come." We then proceeded
towards his house in friendly conversations and when were just going to part, he
said, "They say you are going to marry my daughter." I answered, "I doubt they
grieve you with it," He said, "Nay, not at all; for my daughter shall marry whom
she likes," "You speak very honourably," said I, "if you only stand to your word,"
Page 39 To this he replied, "I will; she shall marry whom she likes." I then said
to him, "I will make you this promise, that I will not marry your daughter
for the sake of her fortune, for I do not believe that you will give me any
with her. But if I can but be assured that it is of the lord, I will marry
her though you turn her into the street destitute; and without this
persuasion I would not marry her, though you were to give me your whole
estate to do so; therefore do not blame me." He said, "I cannot", and we
parted. After this I saw him no more until twelve months after our
marriage. I happened to pass near his house as he was going from it, On my
calling to him, he asked what I wanted with him, I said,"I want to know
what place you mean to have in heaven." He smiled and asked, *Do you mean
to go there?" "I hope so," said I. He then asked me why I had married his
daughter. I told him because I loved her, and thought she would make me a
good wife. I added, "You know, sir, that I told you before I married her,
that I would not marry her for the sake of her fortune, neither have I; I
do not expect any; the Lord blesses us without any, and he will still
continue to bless us". He acknowledged the truth of what I said, and we
parted. A short time after this, I addressed a few lines to him, respecting
his salvation, and concluded my letter by saying, "I have no other reason
for writing to you that I know of, than this, "that the sun is going down".
When-ever he saw me after this, he would say, "You write parables to me."
One time as I was returning home from preaching at a distant place, in
a very wet, cold, and hungry state, and as night was coming on and I had to
pass his residence, I thought that I would call and see if he would receive
me. I knocked at the door, and he himself opened it. Seeing me, he called
his eldest daughter, and said, "Here is thy brother, come and take his
horse." I alighted and went in. He then accosted me as he done once before,
asking,"What, are you a riding preacher, now?" I answered, "To be sure, I
am; for I have ridden from York to Seacroft, and from thence to your
house." "Well," said he, "I know you live well". I replied, "We do, but I
have lived so well today, as I might have done, for I feel rather hungry."
He smiled, and bid his daughter put on the tea kettle. We then entered into
a conversation, in which he said, "You write parables to me, for you told
me that 'the sun was going down'. I answered that I did so; and my reason
for it was, I knew that I had stirred up your wrath in marrying your
daughter against your mind, and I was fearful least the sun should go down
upon it. He burst into a flood of tears, and was so melted down, that for three
hours, I was prompted both by his feelings and my own, to speak of the love of
Christ to poor sinners. There was a female relative, a very genteel person,
present on this occasion, who. while I spoke of the fall of man, and of his
restoration by Christ, zealously supported my doctrine. "I am glad," said I
to her, "to see a person of your rank take the side of truth." To which she
replied, "I am sure that there is no way to Heaven, but by Christ." This
was a night to be remembered, as my reconciliation with Mr. Stables was at
this time effected. After praying with the family next morning, just as I
was going, he made me a present of half a crown, which trifle afforded me
as much pleasure as if he had presented me with five pounds; and we were on
very friendly terms ever after."
Page 40  In his last illness, as he sent for me, I visited him several times,
dealing very faithfully with him. The minister of the parish had visited him,
but as his understanding was now opened, he would have the parson no more.
After I had been with him on one occasion, believing him truly
penitent, it came into my mind that I had not pointed out to him the great
danger of the sin of unbelief. I therefore thought that I would write to him,
and warn him of this sin. But again I reasoned, "If I
do write a letter on this subject, and address it to my wife (whom I had left
there), she is so fearful she will not dare to read it to him"; so I was led to
pray for direction what to do. Having risen from my knees more concerned for
him than ever, a friend, just at the moment, came in and offered me the use
of his horse, saying, "You can go when you have shut up your shop, and you
will be able to return in time to open it in the morning." I accepted his kind
offer, and accordingly set off, committing all into His Hands, who alone is
able to take care of all. I arrived at his house about eleven o'clock distant
from York rather more than twenty miles. My wife not feeling as I did,. wished
me not to see him that night, for fear he should think that we were running
away from all that we had. I lay down until three in the morning' but such
was my concern, that I could rest no longer; so I arose and went down
stairs. Before I entered the room, I fell on my knees to ask divine
direction. After this, feeling that the Lord was with me, I opened the
door and went in. He was sitting up in his bed as though he were waiting
for me. As soon as he saw me, he said, "What, are you come?" I have got no
sleep on your account"Before I made him any answer, I fell down on my
knees and prayed with him; in which he joined heartily, saying Amen. I
then said to him, "I am fearful you do not see the danger of the sin of
unbelief. It was this that turned our first parents out of Paradise; it
was this that drowned the old world. It was this sin which caused the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; it was this sin that let Colah, Dathan,
and Abram into the pit alive; it was this sin which stopped the Israelites
short of Canaan. I know that you are acquained with these Scriptures; take
care lest a promise being left you of going to Heaven, you should stop short
of it through unbelief." He understood all, and replied, "I heartily thank
you." By the time the rest of the family was come into the room, and wept
for joy in hearing him so free in conversation. They all requested me to come
again on the following Sabbath, which I did, and preached at Arthington one
part of the day. The minister of the parish offered
his attendance on Mr. Stables, but he refused his offer, knowing that he
hated the Methodists, and was averse to all experimental religion. One day
as this clergyman asked Mr. Stables how he did, Mr. Stables replied, "Sir,
I am a miserable sinner." "Do not say that you are a miserable sinner,"
replied the Reverend Gentleman, 'for you are a good man." Mr. Stables
answered, "0, Mr. Jackson, I am a miserable sinner." To this the parson
replied, "If you will be a miserable sinner, you are like to be a miserable
sinner", and so came no more. Shortly after this I was called to preach a
funeral sermon at Leeds, for one John Clark, a man highly esteemed by all
who knew him, as a genuine Christian.
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Last modified: December 12, 2006