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enjoyment of religion. In his beloved wife he had a bright example of Christian piety. He saw and heard what the Lord had done for her, and was led by Divine grace to see his own unsafe condition. For some months he deplored the darkness that brooded over his spirit, and found no ray of comfort, though he sought it diligently with tears. At length he was pressed in spirit to take part in Sabbath-school labour ; and, while endeavouring to teach others, his own soul was stimulated and encouraged. A few devout Teachers were in the habit of meeting together for prayer at stated periods. On one of these occasions the Lord graciously poured out His Spirit, and several obtained a sense of pardoning mercy. After this, the meetings were held nearly every night, and were specially owned and blessed of God. Mr. Lomas had never seen it on this wise before : one after another entered into the liberty of God's dear children. He was deeply humbled, and began to seek earnestly for the same blessing. Nor did he seek in vain ; for at one of these meetings the Lord gloriously revealed His long-hidden face, and filled the mournful soul with peace and joy through believing. After this time bis labours were pursued with an amazing increase of delight and zeal. Having himself received the grace of God, he was truly earnest for the salvation of others; and thus was evinced the genuineness of the work that had been wrought within him.
In 1807 he was appointed “Catechetical Instructer” of the junior scholars ;-an office in which he was made very useful. It is a pleasing coincidence, that one of these scholars watched over bim during his last painful affliction; and at the time of the spirit's departure, when the surrounding members of his family were overpowered by sorrow, whispered to him those precious and consolatory truths which he had instilled into her mind in her childhood.
During thirty-nine years, Mr. Lomas was a valuable and efficient Class-Leader. In all things it was his aim to set before his members an example of Christian devotedness, diligence, and zeal. His maxim was, to “seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness ;" and the promise, that “all other things shall be added,” was signally verified in his case. The Lord prospered him in his business, and smiled upon him in his family. His basket and his store increased ; and his children grew up to call him blessed. Nor was he unmindful of his mercies : for not only did the incense of his heart ascend to the adorable Giver, but his life was spent in works of benevolence and love,—the practical expression of his devoutlythankful spirit.
Not long after he commenced business, he was one day called upon by a gentleman in the attire of a Minister. The stranger introduced himself as Dr. Coke, about to carry the Gospel to the Heathen, and concluded his statement by requesting pecuniary aid. Mr. Lomas, touched by the appeal, and already animated by an ardent love for perishing souls, generously presented a one-pound note. The sum was thought handsome, and seemed far to exceed the expectation of the Doctor ; who, with uplifted hands, earnestly prayed that the
blessing of the God of Missions might ever rest upon the contributor and on his household, and that his gift might be restored to him a thousand-fold. That prayer was well remembered with delight and gratitude.
In the year 1811, at the request of the Sunday-school Committee, he transferred his labours from Hanover-street to the immediate vicinity of his residence, London-road. In the only Sabbath-school then established in that densely-populated district, he found ample scope for his gifts and energies. His Sabbath work was heavy ; but his zeal kept pace with it. The first hours of the holy day he spent in prayer; and, before the activities of his household commenced, he might be seen proceeding to the house of God, to join the faithful in supplication to the Lord of Sabbaths, for His blessing on the subsequent duties of the day. More than forty years he regularly attended these early prayer-meetings, first at the Wesleyan chapel, Oldham-street, and afterwards at the London-road school. The Sabbath was to him a delight; and he not only observed it himself with sacred care, but earnestly and solemnly enjoined it upon others to do so.
Sabbath-breakers he was unwilling to pass by without a reproof; his kindness of tone and manner often contributing to the happiest results. It was one of the rules of his house, that none, whether servants or members of his family, should be detained from chapel on Lord's-day morning. Sunday visiting he wholly discountenanced. His steady adherence to this principle had the effect, among several of his friends, of bringing about a total reformation in this particular. The sincerity of his regard for the Lord's day was once closely tested. On a Sabbath evening, soon after he commenced business, a person tendered payment of a debt, the amount of which was considerable. The man informed Mr. Lomas that he expected to sail from England early the following day, and probably might never return. Notwithstanding this, the upright tradesman refused to receive the sum, more willing to incur the loss than to contract the guilt of worldly business on the day which God has sanctified.
About the year 1812, the peace of Manchester was threatened, and the inhabitants were alarmed, by tumultuous mobs. Mr. Lomas, among others, qualified himself as a special constable, and in that capacity displayed his characteristic energy and decision. After the fatigues of business, instead of retiring to rest, he was now required to take charge of a file of soldiers, and lead them through some of the most disorderly and dangerous parts of the town. At one time, when his own premises were attacked, and the rioters were carrying away his goods, he restrained the soldiers who stood by, awaiting his orders, from interfering; as he chose to suffer rather than to resent personal loss. In consequence of his acts of public devotion, however, he received several anonymous letters, of a most threatening kind; but he did not on that account abate his exertions to preserve the peace
of the town. The disturbances were, doubtless, greatly aggravated by the extreme poverty of the people. Means were used by the authorities to grant public relief; and Mr. Lomas was among the most active and laborious in carrying out these huinane arrangements.
Although he never busied himself in the party politics of the day, he firmly maintained the principles of true loyalty by honouring the King, by submission to the laws of the land, and obedience to Magistrates and Governors. He disliked great changes, and studied to conserve the constitution of his country, and its time-honoured institutions ; those, especially, which contribute to secure the interests of true Protestantism, and to stem the tide of infidelity and irreligion.
Many who knew Mr. Lomas in his most vigorous years, agree in the statement that he was one of the most diligent, industrious, and persevering among men. Mrs. Lomas (who is, of course, best qualified to speak on this point) says she does not remember to have seen him unoccupied five minutes. Invariably rising early in the morning, and continuing diligently employed, either in the business of life, or in the more direct service of his God, until a late hour at night, he fulfilled the purposes of life in an earnest, brave, and Christian spirit.
The providence of God continued to mark out his path with innumerable blessings. The eminent qualities and virtues of his dear wife shone in her discharge of domestic and maternal duties ; while he set before his happy family the bright example of a holy life. In the relations of life he was a pattern of excellence : as a husband, a father, a friend, and a citizen, he commanded the highest admiration. Much of his time was spent among the poor, and he ever proved himself a benefactor of the neighbourhood in which he lived. His bounty was bestowed without ostentation, and measured according to his regularly-increasing means. It was exercised, at the same time, with wise discrimination, and a sagacious insight which generally guarded against the abuse of charity. One instance may illustrate this beautiful trait. A man who owed him £15 absconded to America, leaving his wife and five children unprovided for. After some years he sent for her to follow him. Mr. Lomas, who had allowed her to live rent-free, and for a length of time had daily assisted in the maintenance of her helpless family, now generously paid for her passage.The sick he unwearyingly visited by night and by day, braving all weathers and dangers ; undismayed by the prevalence of contagious disease ; and willing to explore the most loathsome habitations.
His benevolence was large and catholic. Bible and Missionary Societies, schemes of chapel-building, and the institutions of humanity in general, he was prompt to aid. To quote his own expression, he loved “to have a brick” in every chapel, school, or other erection sacred to the improvement of his fellow-men. In works of charity and mercy, and in the high and solemn duties of the Christian life, did this good man pass the flower of his days. Like his Lord and Master, he “went about doing good.” By counsels and instructions, by earnest entreaties and warnings, and by a holy walk and conversation, he constrained many to acknowledge the power of religion.
During the course of his life Mr. Lomas experienced several signal deliverances from imminent peril. He had an escape from shipwreck
in the year 1823, between Liverpool and North Wales. Another remarkable instance of providential escape, which claims notice, happened about the year 18:27. He was thrown from his horse with great violence, but most mercifully preserved. Twice a week, for more than thirty years, he travelled on a road which, during a great part of that period, was notoriously infested by gangs of desperate highwaymen. Other travellers have been attacked, robbed, and in some instances murdered, on the very nights when he was on the road; but, during the whole of his journeys, he passed to and fro safe and unmolested. In one most remarkable instance, when he fell from the second story of his warehouse, there seemed but one moment between him and eternity; but he alighted upon the pavement without serious injury. Who can doubt that a special Providence watched over this servant of God? Truly the Lord is “round about them that fear Him."
Orderly in all his babits, bland in his manners, habitually cheerful and social, he was greatly beloved by a numerous circle of friends. He was no morose ascetic; yet he never passed the bounds of religious sobriety, nor allowed his cheerfulness to degenerate into frivolity.
In the government of his numerous family, kindness, firmness, and decision were happily blended. He won his children to obedience, and inspired them with filial reverence. Some years before his death he had the satisfaction of seeing them all joined to the visible church of Christ, and walking in the fear of the Lord. One of them, his pious and highly-gifted son Robert, was suddenly called to his final account, amid bright promises of eminent usefulness, in the year 1829, in the twenty-first year of his age. This unexpected bereavement was the heaviest trial Mr. Lomas had hitherto been called to meet. Robert had been his constant companion, and of him he cherished the fondest and most sanguine hopes ;-hopes which were, alas ! doomed to disappointment. The father's grief for his beloved child was deep and intense, but unmingled with any sentiment contrary to Christian resignation. He came out of this furnace as gold purified. His religious experience was henceforth marked by a more implicit dependence upon the Almighty, and a more entire conformity to the Divine will; and thus was accomplished the gracious purpose of his heavenly Father.
To promote the moral and religious welfare of the rising race seemed to be his absorbing passion. He had a deep conviction that Providence had distinctly marked out this as his particular sphere of usefulness. Acting on this conviction, he devoted forty years of almost unbroken health, with untiring zeal, to the work. His example encouraged the diligent, and left the indolent without
“instant in season, out of season." Above all, he earnestly desired that those around him, both Teachers and scholars, should feel the power of Divine grace. In cheerful reliance on the aid of the Holy Spirit, he pursued this object. In these and all his labours he was entirely free from ostentation, always esteeming others better than himself, and in honour preferring his brethren.
formed a very humble estimate of his own services, especially of his addresses from the pulpit. Of these it may be said, that they were simple, earnest, and pointed; strongly indicative of the originality of his mind. In conducting the schools, he was firm without harshness. An idle or listless Teacher, or one irregular in his attendance, could not long escape his vigilant eye, and was sure to be suitably admonished. If there was occasionally a tinge of severity in his manner, it was when he felt it his duty to rebuke negligence on the part of those on whom so much depended. His influence in the school was paternal. Both scholars and Teachers regarded him as a father presiding over them in love. In his duties as “'Treasurer to the Children's Charity,” his unobtrusive virtues were brought out.
At a period of unhappy dissensions in the Wesleyan body, the school which had been the scene of his long-continued and arduous labours suffered severely. Several Conductors, one hundred Teachers, and upwards of six hundred scholars, chose to secede. Mr. Lomas was among the comparatively small number who remained. Deeply as he regretted this fearful disruption, involving the sudden severance of ties and friendships which had long been fondly cherished, he did not quail in the hour of trial, but nobly bore his part and fearlessly did his duty. His energies, and those of the faithful few who remained with him, were now taxed to the utmost, to repair, if possible, the breach which had been made. Headed by him, these worthy parties went out in the strength of the Lord, canvassed the neighbourhood for new scholars, solicited assistance in their several departments, and redoubled their own exertions. These efforts were crowned with great success; and Mr. Lomas soon had the bigh satisfaction of witnessing the returning prosperity of an institution which he dearly loved. At the Annual Meeting which succeeded, as he looked round on a goodly number of pious and excellent Teachers who had stepped into the places of the seceders, his heart overflowed with joy and thankfulness, which found expression in an animated and remarkable speech. After thirty-five years of faithful toil, he was presented, in May, 1842, with a handsome copy of the Holy Scriptures, inscribed, by the Officers and Teachers at London-Road, as a token of their unanimous affection, and of the esteem in which they held his indefatigable services. On this occasion he was deeply affected ; and in a most touching manner he declared that, had he a thousand hands, hearts, and heads, they should all be engaged in the glorious enterprise of leading youthful souls to the Saviour.
Eternity alone can reveal the result of his labours. Many, who once listened to his instructions, are now spread far and wide over the face of the earth, bearing in their bosoms the imperishable seed which was sown there by his instrumentality. Some of these are Missionaries of the Cross. Many have passed from earth to heaven, leaving behind them glorious testimonies of the power and grace of Jesus, whose ever-blessed name he first taught them to lisp. They are now the crown of his rejoicing, and with him are magnifying the wonders of redemption in that city of which “the Lamb is the