Methodist Personalities T...


Tear, Robert, 1802-1861 (PM LP)
Extracted from The Primitive Methodist Magazine1861 pp327/8
The late Mr. ROBERT TEAR, of Ballacriggan, Corna Society, Ramsey Circuit, Isle of Man, was born at Kirk Andrew's[Andreas], in February, 1802. His parents were not wealthy, yet they had means to enable them to give opportunities for plain schooling to their numerous family. Robert, in this respect was differently inclined to his brothers and sister. He had no relish for learning in his boyhood, hence his mental culture was neglected at the time it was most suitable for it. While at home with his parents, he attended the services of the Church of England, and the Wesleyan Chapel, the only places of worship at that time in the parish. In his young days he wrought as a farm servant, in which sphere he was highly esteemed by his employers. In 1824, he entered the marriage state with Mrs. Jelly, of Ballavaish, Kirk German parish. Two daughters and two sons are the issue of this union. Few children have had an example set before them for industry, frugality, and piety equal to that which was set by Mr. Tear Since the writer came to this circuit, he has occasionally paid the family a visit, and always found Brother Tear diligently employed about something on the 'farm, yet he always found time to talk about religion. It may be truly said of him that he. was "diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." In 1831, the family removed to the Vollan, Kirk Bride parish.

About the year 1837, the principles of total abstinence were introduced. into the Isle of Man by his brother, Mr. James Tear, teetotal lecturer. A meeting was held, in the Dthoor Wesleyan Chapel. The subject being novel, crowds gathered to hear its advocates. Among those hearers was our departed brother. The arguments in favour of the adoption of its principles led Mr. Tear to embrace them; he firmly adhered to them, and frequently recommended them to others to the day of his death. The brain in a healthy person, as was Mr. Tear's, when free from the abusive effects of poisons, is a very active instrument of the human mind. In the case of Mr. Tear, as with many others who abstain from intoxicating drinks, his thoughts turned on religion. When on his way home from the above meeting, the Divine Spirit wrought upon his mind, and he resolved to begin to lead a new life. At a service in Ramsey Chapel, conducted by Mr. Lowe, who was travelling in the island about 1840, he experienced conversion to God, and. without delay he joined Ramsey Society. Punctuality and regularity to the various means of grace, from the first to the last of his membership, was observed by him. He always cheerfully and liberally came forward to aid the various funds of the circuit.

About 1842, he was appointed by the authorities of this circuit to conduct services as a local preacher. When called to these responsible duties 'of the church, be felt unable, and many times thought of giving up; but, as he said, thoughts of the judgment day, how he would stand then, if be refused to warn sinacrs of their wickedness and danger, and invite them to the loving embraces of a loving Saviour, induced him to continue, and God was with him, and blessed him, and those who heard him. He was not calculated to attract those who were fond of show or a display of learning, yet his addresses, which were principally spoken in his native tongue, were full of originality, pointed, homely, and pious, aptly illustrated by reference to agricultural customs. His labours in this respect met with general approval.

Ten years ago, the family removed from the Vollan to Ballacriggan, soon after which he became connected with Corna Society, and led a class on Sunday mornings. By this church as well as by the society at Ramsey, he was much beloved. He was never backward to labour, either in the pulpit, prayer-meeting, class, or on the platform. His homely, pious remarks in his various exhortations will long be remembered. By Mr. Tear's death, the church is deprived of the services of a valuable and much esteemed man. His naturally strong frame gave symptoms of decay twelve months previous to his death. A slight palsy and failing of memory were discernible. It is thought he caught cold in the lambing season, by getting wet, and not being sufficiently careful to strip his clothes, but suffered them to dry on him by the fire. In October, 1860, on medical examination, it was discovered that consumption had begun, under which he was gradually sinking. Through the doctor's advice, he went to his sister's in Jurby, for a change of air. Great attention was paid by his sister and brother-in-law, and he was frequently visited by his wife and other branches of the family. Having removed to a distance, into a neighbourhood where Primitive Methodists have no society, his own people had not the opportunity of attending to him as they would have had if he had been nearer. Several of the Wesleyans visited him. The writer and others went to see him a few times. His wants, as it regards this world, were well supplied; the religion which he had enjoyed for nearly a quarter of a century, and had so frequently recommended to others, enabled him to rejoice in hope of the glory of God, but the disease was fast gaining the mastery. On one occasion four of us visited him. Death's victim, with sallow cheeks, and sunken eyes, lay breathing hardly. A verse or two were sung, and two or three persons engaged in prayer, when we soon felt the place where the good man meets his fate is near the gate of heaven. He lingered on. until the 5th of January, 1861, when he died in the full confidence of Christ, aged fifty-nine years. GEORGE SMITH.




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© F.Coakley , 2001