FRANKLAND, Benjamin B.A. - 1819 - 1876

Obituary Minutes of Conference 1876 Page 21

Benjamin FRANKLAND, B. A. ; who was born at St. Ives, Cornwall, in May, 1819, and died in London, January 17th, 1876. He was the son of the Rev. B. Frankland, sen., whose laborious and successful ministerial course extended through, a period of sixty- two years, exactly double that of his more eminent son.

He was educated at Woodhouse- Grove, to which place, after a few months, he returned as a tutor, a position which he filled for ten years, with the exception of a brief interval, during which he held a like situation at Wesley College, Sheffield. While Second Master at the Grove he graduated at the University of Dublin.

Though always thoughtful and well-conducted, he was not converted to God till the age of eighteen ; but his conversion was thorough and manifest.

At the Conference of 1845 he was accepted as a proba- tioner for the ministry, and for thirty years, with exemplary diligence, humility, prudence, and pro- priety, served the Church of his parentage, – nineteen years in Circuit- work and nearly twelve in the Editor- ship. He faithfully dedicated to the cause of Christ the energies and acquirements of a naturally vigorous and carefully cultivated mind; having built up, on the basis of his sound training at the Grove and his University course at Dublin, a solid and symmetrical scholarship.

During his years of Circuit service he never allowed his literary tastes and studious habits to interfere, in the slightest degree, with his preparation for the pulpit, his pastoral labours, his attention to the details of our economy, or – as his uniformly quiet, earnest, grave, circumspect, but kindly spirit showed – his habitual commimion with God. Hence his unaffected and apparently instinctive ministerial decorum, combined with his steady earnestness and unobtrusive learning, won for him, in the families of our people, a respect bordering on reverence. His sermons were characterised by thoughtfulness and earnestness, and by the qualities which marked his style as a writer – simplicity, exactness, and strength. As an Editor he was a vigilant and sensitive guardian of Evangelical truth, and especially of the distinctive doctrines of Methodism, ana a firm upholder of the authority of Holy Writ ; and laboured to supply the Connexion with a substantial, wholesome, and purely religious literature, with an industry and efficiency which, year after year, won for him the recorded thanks of the Conference.

But it was in the domestic relations, particxdarly as a son and a brother, that the elevation and beauty of his character were most strikingly displayed, in a self- sacrificing tenderness which secured the admiration of those who were permitted to observe it. Being naturally reticent, reserved, and self-difiGldent, the more attractive aspects of his personality were seen only by those who had the privilege of intimate ac- quaintance with him. They knew him to be the enthusiastic student, the sprightly, self-suppressing companion, and the confiding, open-hearted friend.

Above all, he was a devout and earnest man. Sud- denly summoned away in the midst of his days, from work to suffering, and from suffering to death, and intensely interested in the engrossing duties of his vocation, he was yet found quite ready. “When the Master came and knocked, he opened to Him imme- diately. His own death was such as it was so often his privilege and joy to record in the ” Wesleyan- Methodist Magazine.” His sufferings towards the last were terrible even to witness, but ‘^ patience had her perfect work.” Undemonstrative as he was by temperament and habit, he said in his extreme weakness, “I could shout.” He exclaimed exultingly,-

” Love, thou bottomless abyss,
My sins are swallowed up in thee ! “

and spoke of his approaching departure with calmness and joy, saying, ” ‘Absent from the body ‘ we are ‘ present with the Lord.’ “

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