James Jopling, British Deacon
By David Douglas
On the 26th April, this year (1821), died, Mr. James Jopling, senior deacon of the church at Hamsterley (north England), aged 68. He was baptized by Mr. Whitfield, in his twenty-second year, in 1773, and became a deacon of the church in 1791. In this office he continued for upwards of thirty years, discharging with the greatest punctuality its varied duties, so far as his different residences in the neighbourhood would permit. A saying of his is frequently recited by his descendents; "If I can go to the market on a week-day, I can go to the house of God on the Lord's day;" and by this maxim his conduct towards divine worship was constantly regulated. His natural temper was not good, as it had in it, as manifested occasionally, a mixture of both the irritable and the sullen. But with all this, he was, take him all in all, a good man, devout towards God, friendly towards his neighbours, and affectionate towards his minister, his fellow members, and his family. He desired to die before Mr. Whitfield, and he got his wish. His pastor warmly loved him, and he, and other friends were grateful, that amidst the paroxyms of expiring nature, Mr, Jopling enjoyed such strong consolation, and such a good hope through grace.
Mr. Jopling had eight children, most of whom were added to the church at Hamsterley. His third son, John, married to Miss Garthoni, went to Canada, and was the means of planting a church there, of which himself, Mrs. Jopling, and his nine children were memhers. His son-in-law Mr. Tapscot, late of South Shields, became the pastor. At Hamsterley, Mr. Jopling's eldest son succeeded him as deacon, and his second son is a trustee of the church's property.
[From David Douglas, History of the Baptist Churches in the North of England, From 1648 to 1845, 1846, p. 262; via Internet Archives. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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