Born 1713 at Pudsey
Died August 1772
Learn more about the life of John Bentham
The Life of the mar’d BrotherJohn Bentham who was called Home the 9th August 1772.
He has dictated the following concerning himself.
I was born at Black Hay in Pudsey Township1713 & baptised in the Church of England My Mother being poor & not able to care for me I was put out by the family as a Towns apprentice to a Presbiterian. I had no Mind to go on Sundays with any Master to his place of Worship, & having no Concern on my Mind about my Salvation I went no where. My Master observing this told me I should be lost if I continued in the way I then was, & should go to a place of Torment when I died. This had the Effect upon me that I went to Church & then I thought my Case was safe, but even this proved the Occasion to hurtful Entanglements, & also to my marryingunhappily which was attended with many painful Consequences. By this Marriage I had 2 Daughters. When Mr. Ingham began to preach in these parts I want to hear him, & the Word had some Effect upon me for some Time, but alas, I soon got into my old wretched Course again. Being one Sunday at Tong Church I was asked by the late BrJonathan Heartly to go with him to hear the Brethren at Bankhouse; at first I told him I would not, but he however prevailed upon so to do, & I have abundant Reason to thank my dear Savr that He inclined me to go. What I there heard of the Love of our Savrmelted my heart & had the Effect upon me that I returned home in a very different Mind to what I had before, being now determined to seek in earnest after the Salvation of my Soul, nor could I afterwards have Rest or Satisfaction till I found Mercy & peace in Jesus Christ. Soon after this I was rec’d into the Society, & March 25th 1758 I was red’d into the Congn, & the same Year was admitted to the holy Communion & spent my Time in a truly happy Manner in sweet Fellowship with my kind Lord & Redeemer. This was a most
blessed Season to my poor Heart, & happy would it have been for me if I had remained in this Connexion with my Savr but turning aside from Him & not proving this Grace nightly I gave Opportunity to the Enemy to blind my Eyes again, to lay hold of me as his Captive & to lead me according to his Will, & thus was brought into most shameful & scandalous Things to the unspeakable Grief of the whole Congn, & still more to the Grief & Reproach of my merciful Savr, & which was oftenwards attended Lord with much Loss, Distress & Anguish to my own Soul as no one but myself can have a true Conception of. I brought myself into Hell Torment indeed for I forfeited my place & privileges in the Congn, & lost all Sight & feeling of my Savr & my Sins lay so heavy upon me that I knew no possible way of living in this Condition, All which Misery was occasioned by the well known Circumstances of my second Marriage. I & my wife being both guilty & also both miserable & unhappy beyond Description we knew not what to do but to weep & cry to Jesus that if possible He might look on us in our deplorable Condition & shew Mercy unto us. He was also entreated of us & had Mercy upon such abominable Sinners as we were, that we could believe & feel that He had pardoned our many & heinous Transgressions. We then prayed the whole Congn to forgive us & receive us once more into her Fellowship & which in Time was granted unto us to our abiding Consolation. This was a Grace which I shall thank my sweet Savr for throughout my whole Life & also in Eternity. From this Time I have been enabled to live under a bowing Sense of my sweet Savrs Love, & the Blessings I have enjoyed in the Congn have been highly prized by me; yea every the least
Crumb I enjoyed I rec’d out of Mercy as a Favour I was undeserving of. I shall never be able to thank Him duly for what He has done for me poor unfaithful Sinner, but shall eternally sing of his Love & Mercy & Faithfullness. So far out of his Account. Since his Readmission to the Congn he has spent his Time as a Sinner who had received Grace, & acknowledged himself very undeserving of what he enjoyed. Some Time ago his Constitution began to break & he declined gradually, but was chearful in his Heart & confident to our Savr & thus continued till he obtained permission to enter into the joy of his Lord.