AFFLECK, Andrew 1752 - 1811
Obituary The Methodist Magazine 1813 - Page 73
DIED, Auguft 31, 1811, ANDREW AFFLECK, aged 83 years.
Dunbar was the place of his nativity. In the early part of his life, he was, like moft others, carelefs about the things of eternity. It does not, however, appear that he was immoral in his conduct; though, to ufe his own words, his conduft, at that period of his life, tended to fhew the depravity of the human heart, when uninfluenced by the Spirit of God.
It pleafed God, in the year 1752, to awake him to a fenfe of his loft ftate by nature, and to fhew him the utter infuffiriency of all earthly enjoyments to fatisfy an immortal fpirit. He joined the Methodift Society the fame year; and It was by attending the prayer-meetings of some pious Englifh dragoons, before the Methodist Preachers visited Dunbar, that he was awakened.
His convictions for fin were fo deep and powerful, that he could derive no fatiffaftion from any of his ufual engagements : but, as is too frequently the cafe, the cares and concerns of the world choked the good feed, and he relapfed into a ftate of comparative indifference to divine things. However, in the year following, when the Methodiflt preachers firft came to Dunbar, he was again powerfully awakened, and faw the awful fituation he was in; by continuing to attend their miniftry, his convictions were deepened. He then cried mightily to God, for deliverance from the load of guilt which burdened his foul.
The Lord was pleafed to anfwer his petition in the following manner: whilft one of the minifters was preaching from thefe words, ” God is love,” and was enlarging upon the love of God to a finful world, ” I was encouraged,” faid he, ” to venture my foul on his unfpeakable goodnefs and mercy; which I had no fooner done, than I felt fuch rays of light and love fpring up ih my lately afflifted mind, as enabled me to appropriate to myfelf the promifes contained in the word of God, to feeking fouls.” Soon after this period, he received the inward affurance that he was born again, through faith in the once crucified, but now exalted Saviour; the Spirit of God bearing witnefs with his fpirit, that he was a child of God.
From this time, he conftantly and regularly attended the means of grace. He was much attached to the minifters of the gofpel, and to the caufe of Methodifm : to the truth of this, many ftill living, both minifters and people, can bear mofl ample teftimony. In the ufe of means, and by the company, converfation, and prayers of the people of God, he was eftablifhed in grace, and built up in the moft holy faith, in which he continued unfhaken to the day of his death.
Having experienced the bleffed effects of divine grace upon his own mind, he earneftly wifhed others alfo to be made happy in God ; and, confequently, did all that was in his power to promote the fpread of the everlafting gofpel. At this time, when Methodifm was quite in its infancy, and when its mmifters were much defpifed, it was his cuftom to accompany them from one village to another; and on thefe occafions he fcems to have been much bleffed.
In the year 1708 he was married to woman who was noted for her piety. He ufed to obferve, ” I am happy when I fay, fhe was a woman of found chriftian experience, and to me fhe proved a helpmate indeed.” A fhort account of her was inferted in the Magazine for 1809.
From the time of his marriage to the death of his dear partner we have little more account of him, than that he confcientioufly and conftantly fulfilled all the duties incumbent upon him, as a hufband and as a Chriftian. On all occafions he was ready to help forward the work of God, and to fupport that caufe, which to him was as dear as life itfelf. He was exceedingly liberal and generous at all times. He had many trials, but his God, whom he ferved, ftrengthened him to bear them, and made a way for his efcape.
After the death of his partner, he was fo enfeebled by age, and the infirmities attendant upon long and laborious exertions, fuch as his had been, that he was obliged, for the moft part, to keep to his room. His memory began at this time, rather to fail, although his other faculties were unimpaired. Frequently , would he exclaim, when he was obliged, through exceffive weaknefs, to keep his bed, ” What a mercy is it, that , I have not now, in my weak and enfeebled fate of body, to feek my religion ! What an invaluable bleffing, that the Almighty inclined me to feek his face when I enjoyed health and ftrength !”
Laft Chriftmas he feemed to have a prefentiment, that it would be the laft he fhould ever fee; for he faid to one that came to fee him, ” I expect that I fhall, before this time twelvemonth, meet many of my old friends in glory !”
During the laft year, there was a revival of the work of God at Dunbar, which much rejoiced this venerable faint. He obferved, ” I have been praying thefe fifty years, that God would revive his work here ; and now he has heard me. ‘Now, Lord, letteft thou thy fervant depart in peace; for mine eyes have feen thy falvation!'”
Two nights before his death, being under a cloud refpecting his affurance of the divine favour, he cried unto the Lord to lift up a ftandard againft the enemy, who was forely preffing him with temptations, Towards the morning, the Lord anfwered the fervent petitions of his faithful fervant, and fo manifefted himfelf to him, as to remove all doubts from his mind, and by giving him gracious affurances, that he fhould be with him for ever. He then exclaimed, ” God is love ! I feel the truth of this affertion in mine inmoft foul.” He repeated many hymns, efpecially, “Jefus, Lover of my foul,” &c. and alfo his favourite hymn,
” What are all my fufferings here,
If thou account me meet,” &c.
” Dying,” faid he, ” is hard work; but the grace of God is fufficient for me; for he hath faid, ‘ I will never leave thee, nor forfake thee :’ ‘ he will be with me when I walk through the valley and fhadow of death.'” When he was afked, at any time, if he wanted anything ; his conftant reply was, ” I want more love to God, more grace, more patience.” Once he exclaimed, ” O how good the Lord is ! he feeds me with a father’s care.” When he was thought to be expiring, he was afked if he was happy. He replied, ” Oh yes! Oh yes! God is my Alpha” —– he would have proceeded but his feech here failed him ; and to the last his hands were lifted up in prayer.