MR. JOSHUA ROSEVEAR
"THE righteous is more excellent than his neighbour." However looked upon by men of the world, who understand him not, he is the salt of the earth, the ornament of the Church, and the glory of Christ. Enriched with heavenly grace, he is a blessing to others. Happy amidst all the vicissitudes of life, he enters when he departs hence on the full fruition of bliss. Truly "the memory of the just is blessed," and "shall be had in everlasting remembrance."
MR. JOSHUA ROSEVEAR was born at Sticker, in the parish of St. Ewe, in the county of Cornwall, January 1st, 1811. He was the son of God-fearing and God-loving parents, whose great object was to bring up their children in the path of virtue and religion; though his mother died when he was only seven years of age, yet she had already sown the good seed of the kingdom in his young heart, which subsequently yielded much fruit. A mother's prayers are registered on high. His father was a class-leader with the Wesleyan Methodists at Sticker for a great number of years, and discharged his duty with great fidelity. His second wife was a widow with a family, and parents and children lived together in peace and love. Joshua, therefore, as might be expected, grew up in the fear of God. He lived a moral life, but did not fully decide for Christ until about twenty-seven years of age. He was a regular attendant at the house of God, and loved to hear the word preached. He attended the opening services of Zion Bible Christian Chapel, St. Austell, and heard Mr. William Mason. He was also present when the first chapel was opened at Providence (St. Austell), when he heard Mr. John Bassett. These were two of the veterans who laboured hard and nobly in the early days of the Connexion. When a little more than twenty-one years of age, Mr. Rosevear made choice of an excellent person to be his wife, who survives him. About three years after their marriage, finding his business (as a miller) not prospering at Sticker, he took a little salt-water mill at Gerrans, and here he proved to be the right man in the right place. The Bible Christians had a small cause at Gerrans; he attended the services, and soon felt a longing desire to become a follower of the Lord Jesus. Mr. John Chappie and Miss Mary Husband were then labouring in the Circuit. Under Miss Husband's faithful preaching he became fully convinced of sin, and felt the great need of pardoning grace; but for three months he found no rest for his troubled soul. In an agitated state of mind he went to St. Just Chapel, to hear the "Old, old story of Jesus and His love," and while there he caught the sentiment of the verse:-
“Cast your deadly doing down,
Down at Jesu's feet;
Stand in Him, in Him alone,
A joy sprang up in His soul, and he was able to testify that Christ had power on earth to forgive sin. He returned home a changed and happy man. Having tasted the love of Christ, he longed for others to “taste and see that the Lord is good." He commenced to work for Jesus with all his might, and in about twelve months after his conversion he became a local preacher, and he continued to preach until the end. In every chapel in the Mevagissey Circuit it was his privilege to preach Jesus and Him crucified. His preaching was always well received, because the people felt that he was a holy man of God. He was also a class-leader for about forty years, and his advice often gave consolation to burdened hearts. Nor was his zeal for God manifest only in preaching and class-leading, for he freely gave of his substance to the support of the cause; and with his noble wife provided a preacher's home when preachers' homes were few and far between.
Like the Shunammite woman they set apart a little chamber on the wall, that had its bed, and table, and stool, and candlestick. They did not give out of their abundance, but out of their little they gave freely. Their house was a small one connected with the mill, with only three rooms, yet one of these was set apart for the servants of God, and called the preacher's room; many faithful labourers have turned in there for rest and refreshment, and gone on their way rejoicing.
Mr. William Luke, whose first appointment was to the Mevagissey Circuit, thus writes:- "My knowledge of the late Mr. Rosevear was obtained about thirty-seven years ago. We cannot soon forget the friends of our youth, and this good man was one of the choicest it has been my privilege to know. His kindness, gentleness, and transparent piety produced impressions on my mind which cannot be erased. At his house I found a home, and received much kindness. His conversation was very profitable, affording me, as it did, in an eminent degree, both counsel and encouragement. The sweetness of his disposition, united with his manifest experience of holy things, rendered his influence a charm to all who came in contact with him, and his stability greatly helped his brethren. My recollection of him at this distant period enables me with confidence to testify that he was a laborious, loving, and patient disciple of Jesus Christ. The little room by the mill, the inscription on the wall, and the unsurpassed kindness he showed me, are as vivid to-day as ever."
Mr. Luke was preceded by Mr. Charles Spettigue, who leaving the Circuit wrote on the wall of this little room these lines:
"When in solemn, sacred prayer,
Thy happy spirit finds access
When thou pourest out thy care
Sweetly at a throne of grace
Me to Jesus then commend,
Think upon your absent friend."
Mr. Luke wrote under, the following:
"As my predecessor has left
A memorial to his name,
Now you are of him bereft,
Me permit to do the same?
When access with God you find,
Me, with Charles, bear in your mind."
Br. Rosevear's zeal for God never abated. In chapel building he took a kindly interest. 'He was circuit steward, at different times, for many years; and he attended several district meetings and Conferences. He was a total abstainer from the beginning of the Great Temperance Reformation, and ever protested against the great curse of drink. From my knowledge of him I am constrained to say, I have never known a more sincere, devout, and holy man. He was the same at home as in the house of God. I well remember going to his house one evening (as I often did) finding him very unwell, but remarkably happy in God. He was unable to go to the Chapel, although a revival was then in progress. But he spent the greater part of the evening in prayer and praise. During the last year of his life it was evident that his health was declining, but he enjoyed sweet resignation to the will of God. His only desire to live was for the sake of his wife and the church, yet he could say, "Thy will, 0 Lord, be done." His affliction was of a very painful nature. "But lamb-like patience armed his breast." On the morning of the 27th of May, he said, "I have had a sweet season with Jesus during the night; and it will not be long before I shall be in heaven, for
`There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign."'
On the morning of the 16th of June, he said, "I am daily sinking. The pale horse and his rider will soon be here, and I shall be in heaven.
`There I shall see His face,
And never, never sin."'
His wife spoke to him of their beautiful orchard, full of bloom. He answered, “It is nothing to the beautiful place I am going to, for in the Paradise of God the trees are always in bloom." Again he said "that when dying he should find his latest foe under his feet at last." His last words were,
“Bright angels are from glory come,
They are round my bed, and in my room."
Thus passed away a man of God, ripe for heaven, August 2nd, 1881, in the
seventy-first year of his age. "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let
my last end be like his."