[From Manx Quarterly #17 - Oct 1916]

The late Rev. Thomas Mostyn Pinnock

Rev. Thomas Mostyn Pinnock

On August 16th, the Rev Thomas Mostyn Pinnock, Litt.D., passed away at his residence, Selborne-road, Douglas. After a stay of five years as superintendent of the Douglas Primitive Methodist Circuit, Dr. Pinnock left the Island about nine years ago, and soon afterwards retired from active service in the ministry for a. period owing to a breakdown in health. He, however, made a good recovery and resumed circuit work, continuing it until his superannuation, about two years ago, when he returned to Douglas to spend the remainder of his days in the Island. He was this year President of the Manx Free Church Council. Dr. Pinnock was a minister of high culture and uncommon literary gifts. Upon Persian literature he was regarded as an authority, and he wrote gracefully and acceptably upon the subject; while as a member of the Douglas Debating Society he only last session read to his fellow-members a most delightful paper upon Persian poetry. Some little time ago he took temporary duty at Glasgow, but while there he had a rather serious illness, which compelled his return to Douglas about three weeks ago. Notwithstanding his three score and ten years, he, made a good recovery, and his many friends anticipated a, considerable prolongation of his life. On Tuesday night, however, he had a relapse which resulted fatally, his death occasioning great regret throughout the town.

We are indebted to the Rev W. Dinning, of Laxey, for the following particulars:

Dr. Pinnock was a native of Newbury in Berkshire, born in the year 1846. As a boy, he attended the Primitive Methodist Sunday-school of Newbury. He soon began to manifest those abilities which in later years gave him distinction. He was called into the ministry in the year 1867. The first twelve years of his ministry were spent in what was known as the " Old Brinkworth District." His first important appointment as a superintendent minister was in Swindon in Wilts. He soon made himself felt as a great power in that town, which in those days was just an embryo of what it is to-day. Under the guidance of the popular young minister, a beautiful new church was erected, and the circuit became the most influential in the district. In these early years Mr Pinnock made for himself a great reputation as an able preacher. The Liberation Society secured his services as a special lecturer, and he became extensively known as an able exponent of Free Church principles. From Swindon he went to the city of Oxford, and while there entered as a student the University with the intention of graduating. Circumstances, however, over which he had no control obliged him to leave before he had taken his degree, or otherwise he would have been the first Primitive Methodist minister to have won that distinction from Oxford. After a few years in North Wales and Manchester, he went to London, where he spent: seven years in the Grayshott Road Pastorate. He found in the Pastorate a congenial sphere for his pulpit abilities. After a highly successful term of service in Birkenhead, he came to superintend the Douglas circuit. It was during this term of service that Mr Pinnock had a serious breakdown in health, which compelled his temporary retirement; and though he rallied and was able to resume work, yet he never fully recovered from that attack. Recently he seemed to be in good form, and it looked as though he might live and labour for several years. He undertook to supply an important Presbyterian pulpit in Scotland for the month of July, but while conducting the services on the second Sunday he was taken seriously ill, and had to return home, and on Wednesday last he passed away. The Free Churches of Douglas will feel that they have sustained a great loss in the death of Dr. Pinnock. for though he belonged to the Primitive Methodist community, yet his sympathies were so broad that he belonged to the whole "Household of Faith." No minister was more welcome into the pulpits of the town than Dr. Pinnock. But it was not only as a minister, but as a man he became so popular. He had a most sunny personality, he was winsome and urbane, full of gentlemanly instincts, and as a consequence attracted many friends and made few enemies. None will miss him more than his brother ministers. who always found him so kindly, and ever ready to help in time of need. While he was deeply reverent, and felt the mystic forces of the unseen, yet he had a fine social nature which made him a delightful comrade. The young people of the church never found any barrier of reserve in his presence; they found in him the spirit of youth allied to ripe experience, by which he was able to be their counsellor and guide. All who knew him have today a sense of personal bereavement which enables us more readily to sympathise with his wife and children in their great loss. He had a, warm attachment for the Isle of Man, and there are few Free Churches where his beautiful voice has not been heard, and amongst the maarv who will mourn. his death, none will do so more sincerely than his many friends on the Island-he chose it as the place in which to spend his last years, and in which he wished to be buried.

THE FUNERAL.

On Saturday, Aug. 19th, the funeral took place of the Rev T. M. Pinnock, Litt. D., who died at his residence, 7 Selborne-road, Douglas, on the previous Wednesday. Dr. Pinnock, who was a retired Primitive Methodist minister, was wellknown and highly respected in Douglas and throughout the Island, and there was a large gathering of ministers and other citizens at the funeral. The Isle of Man Free Church Council was represented by the clerical and lay members. The two sons of the deceased were the principal mourners, one of them, Rifleman J. H. Pinnock, of the 6th King's Liverpool Regiment, being in khaki. Amongst those present were noticed the Speaker of the House of Keys (Mr D. Maitland, J.P.), Councillor- Speed (of Birkenhead), representing the Liverpool P.M. District; the Rev G. A. Henshall, Rev Vivian Davies, Rev T. Mark«-ell, Rev A. H. Whiteley, Rev H. Cooper, Rev T. Holtby (Peel), Dr Marshall, Mr T. H. Cormode, H.K., Rev P. A. Inman, Rev F. Brock, the Receiver-General (Mr J. T. Cowell, J.P.), Capt. Cain, Mr P. Christian, J.P. ; Councillors John Kelly (Christian-road) aud John Kelly (Stanley-view) ; the Rev A. Hough, Rev J. Wesley Davias (Castletown), Messrs A. B. Cuthbertson, J. McMillan, W. H. Kinrade, R. G. Fargher, J. Quirk, J. Dutton (Nottingliam), W. Quine, D. Kelly, J. Kinvig, Joseph Sharp, W. Proctor, J.P., J. H. Aitken, W. A. Fyffe, R. Creer, R. Kissack, It. Kerruish, W. H. Quayle, T. C. Kerrnode, E. Quayle, i:. Bolland, J. Clague, J. Cowell, A. Cormome, Joseph Shimmin, W. R. Sansbury, W. Quirk, W. G. Qualtrough, W. Clegg, F.R.C.O., E. Henry, and others. Messrs Fyffe and Kissack represented the Playing Fields Bowling Club, of which the deceased was a rnember. The coffin was covered with wreaths sent by the following:--Widow, sons, and daughters; Officials of Bucks-road Primitive Methodist Church; the Congregation of Bucks-road Primitive Methodist Church; Members of Douglas Playing Fields Bowling Club; Mrs L. L. Morse and family, The Croft, Swindon Mr and Mrs Glegg and daughter, Leek. Staffordshire; Rev and Mrs H. Cooper. Douglas; Miss Jessie Cleator, Douglas. Flowers were sent by Mr and Mrs Sharp. '' Weston" ; Rev T. Markwell, Douglas ; and Mrs Clucas, Douglas.. The cortege proceeded to the Primitive Methodist Church, where service was conducted by the Rev W. A. Henshall, the Rev T. Markwell, and Councillor Speed. It opened with prayer and the singing of " Lead. kindly Light." Councillor Speed read the 22nd psalm." (" The Lord is my Shepherd and the Rev Markwell read 1st Corinthians, chapter 15, after which the hymn "Rock of Ages," was sung.

The Rev F. W. Hensihall then said "This is not the hour to give a lang a detailed account of the life of our friend who has passed from us. And yet one feels that the service would not be complete if a few words were not delivered to the power and the influence of the life which has now ended. We Primitive Methodists were all proud of Dr. Pinnock. For many years he has been in the very front rank of our ministry. He was richly gifted, and he was full of grace. He possessed a rich, musical voice, and a mind that was well-stored and disciplined, for he had worked hard. He had delved deep in all those subjects which were likely to help him in his ministry. History, theology, philosophy, Biblical criticism, poetry, and fiction-all wooed and won his heart and the devotion of his mind. It was out of a well-stored mind that he gave forth things new and old. With it all, great as he was in all these departments, we felt he was more`a big brother, a big Unman, a man who bad sounded the depths of the human heart, and knew by experience and chastened discipline the way to the soul, and the food the soul required. No wonder he was a power wherever he travelled. We all know the pulpit was his throne. Preaching with him was a passion. It was for that he lived, for that he prayed, for that he worked. In his sermons there was intellectual power, expressed with lucidity and beauty of diction; and as he spoke, men felt that behind the word there was true manliness, and in his soul there was true sympathy. As George Adam Smith said of Henry Drummond, " he had an ill-will - one might almost say, a horror-of rousing the emotions before he had secured the conviction of the intellect." He never, wore his heart on his sleeve. never paraded his piety; but men who knew- him knew it was there, unpretentious, but an energy, and so his speech was full of grace. I think if I had to sum up his religious life in One word, I should say that he was a wonderful combination-the practical man and the mystic. He had a living interest in his people. He studied and knew them, and so in his pulpit messages it was to them he could speak. And as he spoke new hopes were born, new ambitions were kindled, new light came. From his service men went with stronger hearts to bear the 'heat and burden of the day. The young had always in him a counsellor and guide, and, shall I say, a lover as well: and many in mid-life to-day owe their inspirations to this friemd and , minister of their youth. His life is really a romance, and would do credit to Smiles' list of those who have climbed to success by the power of grit. He was a village lad, born at Newbury, Berkshire. At 14 years of age, in the Sunday-school, he gave his heart to Christ, and the sunlight of Divine love filled all the spaces of his young and yearning heart, and henceforth he knew himself the chosen ofGod. Two years later he was put on the plan as a local preacher, and at the age of 19, at the call of the Church, which proved to be also the call of God, he entered the work of the regular ministry. In those first years, as indeed through all the years of his ministry, spiritual results attended his ministrations, and though the manifold activities of his circuits all claimed his attention, yet success came to ;him in all departments-he lived for his pulpit. It was the pulpit to which he gave his chief thought, and with that end in view he directed his studies and all the current of his life. When travelling in Oxford, he attended the University classes through ten terms, taking classics and mathematics, and the mental discipline thus gained has served him well through subsequent years. His tastes were literary, and he has roamed in all the fields of literature. So out of his treasury he was able to bring forth things new and old ! the old lit up with grace and beauty, the new so clearly taught that it found ready acceptance. He was a fine scholar, and the degree of Doctor of Literature, though it came to him late in life, and was hardly won, was a fitting recognition of his ability and the fulfilment of a landable ambition. For the coming, winter he was planning for himself a new subject of study. His soul wvould not rest, but yearned for an ever-larger fulfilment. of itself. Of wider interests, of Connexional honours, of success in chapel-building, and in debt reduction, I will not now speak, I will only say he has never shirked difficulties, and never shrunk from taking a difficult station. One's soul thrilled a few years ago, when we had a case of special difficulty. Though Dr. Pinnock was enjoying a well-earned retirement, at the call of the Church he took this circuit, where much trouble 'had been caused, and in the midst of the turmoil he went, and by his winsomeness and tactfulness he brought order out of chaos; evolved scttled peace and ordered beauty; making what was a wilderness to blossom as the rose. One's soul thrilled again as he saw this scholar, this fine pulpit power, take up one of our tire-akest mission stations and labour con tentedly in suAi a narrow sphere. Those were his last years before be came to Douglas for his well-earned rest. In Douglas he was well known. He has moved among you, shared in your life. and by a true sympathy be has entered into your experiences. Shall I be wrong in saying that the most conspicuous service he has rendered has been to show you a Christianity, a Christ-life, which was perfectly natural. How brotherly he was Not one of you ever thought of going on the other side of the road when Dr. Pinnock came along. You loved to meet him ; you loved to speak to him. He was not one main in the pulpit and another in the street, or in the honne. You met hint somewhere - a graceful, well-dressed gentleman, with a swing in his walk and brightness in his face which seemed to carry no cares, and to know neither presumption or timidity. You spoke to him, and found him keen for a hundred interests. He was fond of a good stony, and could crack a good joke. You knew him for a tremendous worker, yet he could enter into a game with zest, as you know, and never ceased to be a child, but retained the child heart and the child faith to the end. There was never any assumption of superiority, never any ambiition to gain influence, nothing but the interest of one healthy soul. in another. If in your talk you slipped away into deeper things, he was just as untroubled and unforced as before. There was no suspicion of unction in his reiligion. He was pure, he was reverent, he was human ; rich in humility, strong in trust, beautifully gracious. " All things to all men. that by all ineaus he might save souls." And he being dead yet speaks. Today we thank God for his life, and feast upon the memories of joyous fellowship with him, and we look forward to a glad re-union and fellowship in that higher service to which he has been called. To his sorrowing wife and children our hearts go out in deep sympathy. May the God who is Husband and Father comfort them by his grace and enfold them in His love, and guide them until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

Prayer was then offered by the Rev Henry Cooper. At the conclusion of the service, the " Dead March " in " Saul " was feelingly played on the organ by Mr J. E. Kelly. The cortege then proceeded to the Borough Cemetery, where the interment took place.

A memorial service in Bucks-road Church on Surdav evening was conducted by the Revs F. A' . Henshall and T. Marknvell. The service opened with the playing of the " Dead March " in " Saul " by the church organist, Mr T. P. Farg6er. Praver was offered by the Rev T. Markwell, and the address was given by the Rev F. «'. Henshall, who took for his text Acts xi. 24 -" For he was a good man." The rev. gentleman paid a high tribute to the work of the late. Dr Pinnock during his long ministry. A solo, " O rest in the Lord," was most effectively rendered by Mrs T. Wallace; and the choir sang unaccompanied the anthem, " Thou wilt give him perfect peace."


 

Back index next

 

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received MNB Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2004