Robert WALLACE, Ireland to Osgoode Township, Ontario, Canada
A Beautiful Methodist Obituary from the Christian Guardian, 1863
Possibly ML# 353
January 21, 2012:
Robert Wallace and family came from Ireland to Osgoode in the early days of the British settlement of the area.
He may have worked on the Rideau Canal before getting a homestead. He established a family tradition of farming and
having big families. Many people in the area today are descendants.
(Note: There is a good possibility that Mr. Robert Wallace came from County Leitrim and is ML# 353 on the 1829 McCabe List.
We're still wondering what ever happened to "His writings (a large manuscript volume) ".
Obituary of Robert WALLACE
April 12, 1778 - April 2, 1863
(copied from photocopy from The Christian Guardian, June 24, 1863)
The subject of this brief sketch was born in Ireland, April 12th, 1778. His father died when he was quite a child; an elder brother and an uncle,
who each in their turn assumed the paternal oversight, were in less than twelve months numbered among the dead. His mother was now his only
guardian and instructor; she was a member of the Church of England, and agreeable to the light she possessed, trained her fatherless boy up in the
fear of God. From a very early age he was the subject of powerful religious impressions, and under their restraining influence, he was preserved,
while on the slippery paths of youth, from open vice. Attendance on the public ordinances of God's house, he regarded both a duty and privilege,
but remained a stranger to the converting grace of God until he reached the age of twenty-five.
About this time, in the public market, whither he had gone on business, seeing a crowd of people, he was attracted by their singing, which he
was wont to say "he thought was the most heavenly he ever heard." He drew near; the Rev. Gideon Ousley was commencing Divine service. It was
the first time he ever heard the Gospel preached by a Methodist minister. The word proved powerful; under its searching influence he was
convinced of sin, and soon after found peace with God. He now sought the privilege of union with the Methodist Church, and soon after was
appointed a class leader and exhorter, and became the honored instrument in the hands of God of the conversion of many precious souls.
His writings (a large manuscript volume) which he has left to his family, is an evidence that he was a genius, and if in his early days he
had been favoured with a liberal education, he would have shone in the literary world. His judgment was remarkably sound and clear; he
was well versed and mighty in the Scriptures; to the doctrine and discipline of Methodism he was warmly attached, and regarded them as
in strict accordance with the word of God.
He emigrated to Canada in the year 1828, and in several places in the backwoods where he resided, he gathered its scattered people
for worship, and formed classes, and thus as a pioneer prepared the way for the regular ministration of the Gospel, and laid the foundation
of many present flourishing Christian societies.
As in the vigor of manhood, so also in the feebleness of old age, he was sustained by the consolations of the Word and Spirit. His
infirmities prevented active service in the cause of God, but patience, the passive grace of the Spirit, was being perfected. He never
murmured, although he frequently desired to depart and be with Christ, which is far better, but would add: All [upon] my appointed
time will I wait until my change come.
The last time he met the class in his own neighborhood, a few months before his death, he rose above his wonted strength. He seemed to
be on the margin of Jordan, and was longing to cross the stream to the better country. About two weeks before his departure, when the
writer last saw him and held service in his house, with strong confidence, he said, "The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought
a good fight and finished my course, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."
His removal was, however, to his friends sudden and unexpected. On the morning of April the 2nd, he arose, dressed, and partook of
refreshment as usual, but shortly afterwards the summons came, and in joyous hope of a better life, without a struggle he calmly
resigned his spirit into the hands of Jesus, and sweetly fell asleep in death, aged 85 years.
His mortal remains were followed by a very large concourse to the burial ground [now Metcalfe Union Cemetery] of the Metcalfe Methodist Church,
Osgoode, where they rest in hope of a joyous resurrection.
Contributed by Mrs. Stanley
E-mail Mrs. Stanley and Allan Lewis
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