[Taken from Manx Wesleyan Church Record 1893]


Thomas Clague

THE subject of our sketch was born at Ballabeg, near Castletown, on the 9th of January, 1843. He is the eldest son of Mr Frederick Clague, farmer, and had the advantage of birth in a Methodist family. Methodism had a very strong hold on the life of the village, and in 1853 a Wesleyan Sunday School was started of which Thomas Clague, a boy ten years old, was the first male scholar. The school flourished, and became, and still is, a great centre of holy power and usefulness. In 1856 young Clague left his village home and went to live in Castletown, where he was apprenticed with Mr. J. F. Kermode, bread and biscuit baker, under whose roof he lived for nearly six years. About this time (1859) there was a remarkable revival of the work of God in Ireland, and papers containing accounts of this good work came into the hands of the apprentice boy week by week These accounts deeply impressed his youthful mind, and he was led to seek God in secret very earnestly for many weeks. At last he was constrained to openly yield himself up to God, in the presence of a large congregation, after a sermon by the late John Crebbin. He found the peace of God in that service, and received his trial ticket from the hands of the Rev. Joseph Officer, the second -minister in the Douglas and Castletown circuit. The Rev. Ebenezer Evans, who came to Castletown at the following Conference, induced the new convert to exercise his gifts in the weekly prayer meeting and, other week night services; . Three years after his conversion (March 1862) Mr Clague came to live in Peel,just at the time of the glorious work of God popularly known as " Dilke's Revival," when several hundreds were brought to Christ, when the Chapel was open day and night, and when the town was moved by the mighty power of God. On coning to Peel, Mr Clague soon found his way to the Sunday School, and was appointed to teach the lowest class, work in which he delighted for three years. By the Rev. Lancelot Railton, who came to Peel in 1863 Mr Clague was induced to conduct an occasional service in the country, and it was not long before his name appeared on the Circuit Plan as a local preacher on trial. This work Mr Clague undertook as the result chiefly of the earnest persuasion of the sainted Mrs Railton (sister of Dr Scott), who subsequently contracted fever whilst visiting the sick, and died within a few hours of her dear husband, to whom she had communicated the disease. The older members of the Society will remember the day when the sorrow stricken Church laid to rest in the same grave, at the same hour, their pastor and his wife, and to-day, as one tarries to read the inscription on the tomb within the Chapel yard, one cannot but feel a touch of the pathos of that sad event. Mr. Clague was examined for " Full Plan" by Mr. Railton's successor, the Rev. J. Sharpe. Mr. Clague joined the class of the late Robert Lewin, whom he succeeded in the leadership when God called his servant home. He has also been Superintendent of the Sunday School for nearly twenty-four years. He is a member of several Circuit Trusts, and has filled the post of Circuit Chapel Secretary. He has been a member of the District Synod for twelve years. He has served as Circuit Steward nearly six years, his second term coming to a close next Christmas. In 1882 he was the lay representative of the District at the Leeds Conference, and main this year he has represented the Island at the Cardiff Conference. In addition to his work in connection with Methodism, Mr. Clague devotes himself to the various commercial, social, and philanthropic interests of the town, and occupies a seat on the Peel School Committee and on the Town Commission. He is a man of energy and perseverance; and commands the respect of all classes.




Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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