The story of the Schumm family
by M.S.W.
The Methodist Recorder Winter Number. December 1893.

This has been typed up from a rather dim photocopy. A few words are indecipherable. If anyone has a better copy of the original, please let me know.

What the Psalmist said of Israel may with much propriety be said of five brothers named Schumm (subsequently Anglicised into "Shum") who were born about the middle of the last century at Nieder Stettin in Germany, and in its later decades became residents in the City of Bath. "The Lord led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation"-- a city in which though "strangers and foreigners" they became "fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God". The way by which they were led, though a "right way" was one they had not known, the issues of which they little anticipated, for

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform.

Their father, Herr John Jacob Schumm, was a member of the Lutheran Church, as was also their mother. The extensive homestead included lime kilns, brick kilns, and vineyards, and the owner was highly respected for his integrity, yet, like most of his neighbours, he was a stranger to the power of godliness. In illustration of the sadly degenerate state of the Lutheran church a century and a half ago, we find that as soon as the Sunday service at the church of Nieder Stettin was ended, there was usually a public exhibition of mountebanks, or a show of some sort, accompanied by music, in the public square close by the church, the most prominent seat being occupied by the clergyman of the parish.

But even in this degenerate Church there was a remnant "faithful among the faithless". One of these was the mother of Frau Schumm who had learned "to show piety at home" and was deeply concerned for the spiritual welfare of her daughter's twelve children. This venerable woman used to encourage her grandchildren to read the Bible by making them presents, and many were the prayers which she offered on their behalf, which have had their blessed answer not only to the third and fourth, but to the fifth and sixth generation.

The names of the five brothers who settled in Bath were John Jacob, born in 1745, George, in 1750, Frederick Andrew, in 1754, John Michael, in 1758, and Yerrick in 1763. They all left home while young, for according to the German custom youths at the expiration of their three years' apprenticeship were expected to travel or serve another master for the next three years, each master being required to endorse the indentures with a testimony as to the apprentice's conduct.

John Jacob, the eldest of the family, being of a very lively temperament, went through his boyhood with an unusual share of dangers. He, however, safely and creditably passed the term of his apprenticeship and left Germany in quest of employment and pleasure, passing through France to England. He reached London one Saturday, in company with another German youth, neither of them being able to speak English. The next morning John proposed to his companion that they should go to service at the German Chapel and try to hear of situations. "What!" he replied, "is that your way of worshipping and keeping the Sabbath?" A warm discussion ensued and they parted in anger. Many years passed before they met again, and then both had become energetic members of the Methodist Society.

John had some knowledge of French and was soon engaged by a resident at Walthamstow, whom he accompanied on a business trip to Paris and subsequently to Bath. After spending some years in his employment, he grew tired of a wandering life and entered into business in the last-named city and for a while joined heartily in the follies and vanities for which it was notorious.

At this time, after thirteen years of silence, he wrote to his father, who had long supposed him to be dead. This renewed communication with his German home resulted in his brother, George, coming over to join him, but though they worked well together in business they lived in neglect of the worship and fear of God. In 1776 at the request of his father the elder brother visited Nieder Stettin, but in less than a year he returned, bringing with him his next brother, Frederick, from whose long and regularly-kept diary the following extract is taken:--

"In 1777, I succeeded in obtaining permission to accompany Brother John to England, being very anxious to try the effect of the Bath water on my afflicted leg. Friends opposed my going but Providence cleared the way. I was restless and [missing word], wanting I know not what. I had never heard of the need for a change of heart, or of any person being converted.

"I had been in Bath some months when one Sunday my brother said to me 'It is of no use for you to go to church if you cannot understand a word of the sermon. You had better read the lesson for the day in your German book.' I did so, and there found a hymn in which the character of the real Christian is delineated. I had often read the same in my native country and after doing had tried to reform my life, but now the Lord took the work into His own hand, and excited a cry in my soul that He would take away the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh.

"In my distress I looked for a hymn concerning Repentance in the same book, and was directed to one which expressed that state in every verse. The subject was 'The Prayer of the Publican'. While I was calling the Lord answered me. At that moment I fell on my knees and praised God. I felt [missing word] was changed, though such a change I never expected, nor know what to call it. Those words of the prophet Isaiah applied with great power to my mind: 'Before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear.' I closed the Bible and kissed it, and said "This is indeed the Word of God."

"Not having anyone to whom I could open my heart, by degrees I lost my comfort, till one day a converted German Jew came to our house and I said 'Countryman, can you tell me, did you hear of any people in Germany who knew they were in the favour of God, and were assured that they would go to heaven when they died?'

"He replied, 'There are many in Bath who know this'.

"As soon as he left, I retired to my room, and sought again the peace which I had lost. The Lord heard me, my peace returned, and I was filled with love and joy.

"On the following day, this baptised Jew came again to our house. I called him aside and told him what the Lord had done for my soul, and he wept for joy. 'Now', said he, 'you shall hear the Methodist whom I have joined.' He took me to the old room in Avon Street, which was then their chapel, but I only understood a very few words of the sermon. However, I continued to attend the preaching.

"One Sunday, Mr. Goodwin held a lovefeast, and my friend Samuel not being in Bath, I had no one to introduce me. While I was standing at the door the steward of the Society beckoned me to come in. After a while, when they were handing round the cakes, I wondered what this could mean but this was soon explained to me. When they began to relate their Christian experience I could understand this better than the preaching. Oh, how did I long to be able to speak a little English that I might declare what the Lord had done for my soul. I said within myself, 'If there be any Christians in the world, they are here'; and without asking my brothers' opinion, I determined 'this people shall be my people, and their God shall be my God.'

"I immediately joined the society and by the blessing of God have continued with them to this day. As if to strengthen my faith, a passage of Scripture was applied forcibly to my mind which I remember to have read at home. It was this 'The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.' I searched my Bible until I found it in Romans viii.16. Oh, how I rejoiced and took courage."

..."I began earnestly to long for the conversion of my brothers who were with me, for my parents and relatives at home-- yes, for the whole world!

"This was in 1778...

..."I soon had the happiness of welcoming my brother John Jacob to our class, for he had previously become a regular worshipper at the preaching room in Avon Street. Under the first sermon he was led to see his Saviour, and earnestly sought salvation. He took every opportunity of reading his Bible and the 'Golden Treasury'. One evening, being alone, he took up the former, opening on 'Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean'. In a moment, the answer came, 'though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.' He fell on his knees and began praising the God of his salvation. With a heart overflowing with joy he hastened to tell me of the blessing just received; we gave God thanks and henceforth took sweet counsel together, Brother George not being at all disposed towards us, but the contrary, for Methodism was everywhere spoken against and in joining the Methodists we did not escape odium."

Soon after John's conversion he received a letter from his brother, John Michael, and a cousin, Caspar Shum, who after their three years' apprenticeship together had gone to Heidelburg. Their time having expired, they wrote home asking permission to go to England. This was refused. Being determined to have their own way, they appealed to John, George, and Frederick, not only to receive them, but to pay for their journey, and at once started for Rotterdam where they arrived almost penniless. Again they despatched urgent letters to Bath, but feared to apply to their relatives at Nieder Stettin, not wishing to return thither.

The following is Caspar's account:--

"On reaching Rotterdam we were in great trouble because we had come to the end of our purse, and were told that the press gang were actively seeking men. However, we felt relieved when the landlord said he would trust us to the extent of £5 each. Most anxiously we awaited a reply to the heart-rending letters we again sent to our brothers. Being almost as ignorant of Dutch as of English, we only now learned that as soon as our debt to the landlord amounted to £5 he had the power to give us up to the magistrates who would pay £10 for every man to be employed as a sailor.

"In the same house as ourselves were nine or ten young men waiting to go to London, only one of whom could speak English. One day a gentleman from the large hotel called to offer some of us a free passage to England (I forget on what conditions). This offer we gladly accepted; but as soon as he had left the young man who spoke English said 'What silly fellows you are! You don't know what that person will do with you. Not understanding the language, he might sell you right before your face, and you would be none the wiser!' We were truly alarmed and hastened off to bed. The next morning a servant came to our room to say someone wanted us. Thinking it was the gentleman from the hotel we sent word that we were not up, and therefore could not see him. The servant came a second time to say that he particularly wished to speak with us. Not daring to go down, we sent a message that we had changed our minds and were not going abroad at present. A third time the servant appeared saying 'The person desires me to ask if it were your brother from Bath come to fetch you, could you come down?' Oh, the joy of that moment! We sprang out of bed and, without waiting to finish dressing, taking our coats under our arms we ran downstairs and found John had really come all the way to fetch us. 'Fine fellows you!' said he, 'in bed at this time of day? Here I have been travelling night and day, losing my hat into the bargain, and find you too lazy to get up to greet me!' Our joy was unbounded; his kindness beyond our expectations.

"The next day we started to go on board the vessel. Michael and I jogged on in front with merry hearts; John came behind, no doubt engaged in better thought. We had just passed through a turnstile when he cried out, 'Holloa there! Couldn't you take the trouble to pick up this?' at the same time holding up a watch. We thought he was trying to trick us, but when we found that he had really picked up a gold watch, with handsome chain and seals, we were vexed enough that we had overlooked it, for we feared from the little we had seen of him that he would want to find the owner, and so it proved.

"'Surely', we exclaimed, 'it belongs to you. You won't be so foolish as to give it up!'

"While we were talking a footman came along, looking on the ground.

"'Have you found anything?' he asked of us.

"'Have you lost anything?' enquired John.

"'Yes.' he replied. 'An hour ago my master dropped a gold watch and chain.

"'Would you know it if you saw it?' asked John, at the same time holding up the watch. The man was delighted, and insisted on his accompanying him to his master, an English gentleman who presented him with ten ducats and hearty thanks. When he returned to us he exhibited the money, remarking, 'Hey, lads, this is my own; I can keep it with a good conscience, and am thankful for the help it will be towards the expenses of our journey.'"

The little party arrived in London in October, 1780, and found a situation for Caspar while John returned to Bath, taking Michael with him. This brother was so lively and fond of pleasure that the elder ones feared lest he should prove a hindrance to them in their religious duties. But before many months had elapsed, he too had yielded his heart to God and joined the Methodists. The changed lives of his brothers, their consistent conduct, frequent reading of God's Word and daily family worship, wrought an inward conviction that he, too, needed to change his ways. But earnestly and lovingly as John and Frederick entreated him to choose the better part he was not really convinced of sin, nor felt his need for God's forgiveness.

In the beginning of December it was proposed by George and Michael to procure a large branch of a cherry-tree and get it to blossom by Christmas Day in German fashion, as they had often done at home. To this the others objected, as they had no honest means of obtaining one; but, turning a deaf ear to any remonstrance, they set off by stealth late one evening to some grounds near Sham Castle. They selected a tree, which George climbed, and had just seized a branch when they saw a man coming towards them. They hurried off with their prize, the man shouting "Stop thief!". The young men proved too nimble for their pursuer and reached home both dreadfully frightened. Michael especially looked on it as a judgement from God, and began to see himself in a new light as a sinner against God's holy law, and that very night began to seek forgiveness. One evening in Christmas week George had retired to bed, leaving his brothers together. Michael was reading his Bible, and such an influence came over him that his very countenance changed, and he exclaimed "I feel the Spirit of God working within me." His soul was set at liberty and his two brothers united in thanksgiving on his behalf.

Frederick writes:--

"Oh, how heartily did we rejoice together! Here were three brothers, strangers in a strange land, brought to know the love of God and to obtain a sense of His pardoning mercy in the same room, one after another."

Methodism in Bath at this time (1780) was in a low state. A chapel in New King Street had recently been opened by Rev. John Wesley. It was, however, but thinly attended; few of the congregation could render much pecuniary assistance. The society only numbered about 150 members, who were exposed to considerable persecution.

In this early stage of their Methodist career, the brothers Schumm manifested more concern for spiritual than for temporal prosperity. They endeavoured to set the Lord always before them, and to acknowledge Him in all their ways. He did not fail to prosper them in their undertakings and to direct them in right paths. So great was their fear of suffering spiritual declension through becoming too deeply engrossed in business cares that they were unwilling to enter into new engagements yet the openings of Providence for enlarging their business were frequently so clear and unmistakable that they seemed compelled to enter even against their inclination. It was not unusual for them to suspend the ordinary course of business to unite in social prayer and praise, and they were ever on the alert to honour their Master by bringing others to a knowledge of their Saviour.

To a remark dropped by one of them Doctor Bennett attributed his conversion and subsequent useful career. In his diary he writes:

"August 13th 1792. A day never to be forgotten. I was invited to take tea with two pious people, at which I was ill pleased. After tea, they went to prayer, which was still more irksome to me. One afternoon Mr. Shum, a German, who belonged to the Methodist Society in Bath, on rising from prayer and looking out on the beautiful hills surrounding the city observed: 'How happy is the man who, being made a partaker of a living faith, can call the God who made all these his own God. All mankind are seeking happiness; in God alone it can be found." For the sake of saying something I remarked, 'Some are seeking it in the right way; some in the wrong.' No sooner were the words uttered than I was struck by the conviction that I had been seeking it in the wrong way. A solemn feeling overpowered me. I cast myself at the foot of the Cross, and rested not until I obtained a clear assurance of Divine love. The word spoken in season was the means of my conversion.'

We now return to the Journal of Frederick Schumm.

"Soon after I had found the Lord, I had written to my parents and friends telling them of the blessed change of heart I had experienced, but my father had replied in great anger, blaming John for allowing me 'to make such a fool of myself especially in addressing the clergyman's son, who had been my chosen friend and companion.

"In 1786, about nine years after I came to England, it was laid upon my heart to visit my native town. I longed intensely for the salvation of relatives and friends, and for an opportunity to tell them of my great joy in the Lord. I had made my journey home a special subject of prayer, and received a clear indication that I should set out.

"The first Sunday when I went to church all eyes were upon me, for the people had heard of my intention to speak to them of my conversion and of the Witness of the Spirit. A sensible woman named Baumann addressed me on my way home, saying 'I hear yours is a heartfelt religion; will you come to my house this evening and have some talk about it?' I gladly promised to do so. On arriving I found that, like Cornelius of old, she had called friends and acquaintances together to hear of the great things of God. The room was crowded. I took with me the Bible, the Lutheran Catechism, Prayer Book and Hymn Book, read to them selected passages, enquired if they had experienced the change of heart plainly laid down in these books. They looked astonished, made no reply, except to ask me to go on, which I did for some time, as help from above was given to me. Then we sang a hymn together, and I offered an extempore prayer. That I could pray without a book was a further wonder to them.

"After this we held a meeting every evening. The room (which was a small one) was always full. Many souls were awakened and found peace, among the first of whom were my mother and my sister. As the carnal mind is always at enmity against God, enmity rose up against us complaining that strange doctrines were preached and a new sect was springing up. The minister pressed upon me for explanation. He could not refute what I advocated and defended from Scripture, but rather encouraged me. A complaint was then made to the magistrate against the minister and he was severely censured. Persecution followed but the work of conversion prospered.

"After nine months I returned to Bath, having with great difficulty prevailed on my father to allow my youngest brother, John George, to accompany me. He went by the name of Yerrick amongst us (that being the German for George). He had attended our meetings at Frau Baumann's, and now readily joined in family worship and the services at New King Street Chapel. He soon became an earnest seeker of salvation and regularly attended class. For many months he mourned in bondage over unforgiven sins, when one Friday evening, after returning from a service at the chapel, he resolved to go straight to his room until he was given the blessing which he had so long sought in vain. Entering the house, the Abbey Chimes began to play. As he ascended the stairs the thought came into his mind 'God waits to be found. He can set my soul at liberty before those chimes have finished playing.' According to his faith it was done unto him; he fell on his knees and received the Spirit of Adoption. With warm hearts and songs of praise we worshipped God that evening.

"Soon after this event our brother George united himself to the Moravian Church. He, too, had sought and found the Lord. We all five brothers enjoyed the presence and favour of God; all our leisure time was spent in prayer and praise.

"In the year 1790, four years after my last visit, we received letters from my sisters and others praying us to go and visit them again, for the Lord was carrying on His work in a wonderful manner. We consulted with each other and arranged for John and me to go together. We arrived at Nieder Stettin three weeks before Christmas, and at once began our evening meetings. Our father now wished them to be held in his own house. This gave us great joy, for he was often present. We had more liberty than on my last visit. Many flocked to the meetings, and other of my relatives sought and found the Lord.

"One day we said to Father: 'Our friends in England often wonder to see five brothers living together in a strange country, they look at Yerrick and say "Here is Benjamin come," and we reply "Yes, and old Jacob is still alive in Germany." They wonder the more to find that your name is Jacob, and ask, "Why do you not persuade him to come into Egypt?"' At this, our father smiled, and looking at Mother, asked if she would go with him to Egypt. 'Yes, gladly.' said she. This a little surprised him. We had much talk about the matter and at length he determined to return with us, but said we had better not say much about it. He had a new carriage built and bought a couple of Arabian horses to make ready for our journey. We were in high spirits, but, alas! when the time drew near for us to leave, my father's heart failed him. Much as we desired to carry out our plans, and to take our dear parents with us, we dared not urge Father against his will, so very reluctantly we returned home alone, but we did not cease to pray that he might be brought to a heartfelt knowledge of the Saviour.

"When eighty years of age Father was laid low by a fever. His friends were anxious that he should receive the Sacrament, but now for the first time in his life he felt his unworthiness to do so, and his unfitness to meet death. Seeing and feeling himself a sinner, he began to cry for mercy. While the bread and wine were being administered to him he was enabled to cast himself upon the atoning blood, and, sending for my eldest sister, he told her that the Lord had forgiven all the past and written his name in the Book of Life. When my Uncle Friedrich called the next day to see him he said 'I am going to heaven. I see the angels waiting for me.' Soon afterwards he closed his eyes and departed in peace."

The next extract from the diary reveals the childlike confidence which characterised Mr. Frederick Schumm's communion with his Heavenly Father. Whatever blessing he needed, he asked for it in faith, and it was given to him. In 1793 he writes:--

"Being thirty-nine years of age today, I have begun to consider whether it will be better for me to remain single or to marry. In looking back upon my past life, even from childhood, I was constrained to admire the goodness of God, and to mark how wonderfully He had hitherto guided me. My heart's desire was that He should continue to lead me and to show me His will in this important matter. Could I expect such indulgence? Yes I might, for He heard my request, and showed me that it was His purpose concerning me that I should no longer remain single. Knowing this much, I wanted further direction, and exclaimed: "Oh, thou Searcher of Hearts! Thou hast so far revealed Thy will, wilt Thou choose my future companion?" And as Samuel let the seven sons of Jesse pass before him that the Lord might point out the future King of Israel, so did I bring before my mind in order the good people I knew. At last Miss Rachel Harris, of Keynsham, came before me. I had never spoken to her, but had heard of her as being very pious and a class leader. In a moment, I felt "This is she" (1 Sam. 16:12). Oh, how did such condescension astonish me! "Lord, what is man that thou takest knowledge of him, or the son of man that Thou makest account of him?" I felt greatly humbled by the goodness of God towards me.

"I now told my brothers for what I had prayed, and of the answers which I had received, expressing my belief that Rachel Harris had been selected as a companion for me. They looked astonished, but one of them said, 'Oh, there is another person whose mind is towards her.' I replied, 'Never mind, the Lord will look to that.'

"It now occurred to me that I should find it difficult to go to her father, whom I had never seen, and ask permission to visit her. Wonderful to relate, the Lord again helped me by applying the words, 'Behold, Rachel his daughter cometh' (Gen. xxix:6). One of the members of my class called upon me the next day and said, 'I have received a letter from Miss Rachel Harris to say she is coming to stay with me for a short time.' 'Well, if so,' I replied, 'I shall call and see her.' Accordingly, I went and opened my mind to her and asked her to lay the case before our heavenly father. We then prayed together (as we did every time we met before our marriage), and arranged that on her return I should speak to her father. He received me most kindly and after we had talked for a few minutes he said, 'I am persuaded Rachel will only do what is right, so if you have her consent you have mine also.'"

Mr. Harris was a strict Churchman, much respected by his neighbours and kind to the poor. When two of his daughters wished to join the Methodist Society, he put no obstacle in their way, but honoured the grace of God in them. Both Rachel and her sister Mary were active in visiting the sick, and had charge of society classes. Frederick's courtship was not a long one, and his brother Michael soon afterwards wooed and won Mary Harris. Both these excellent ladies proved true helpmeets to their husbands. The eldest brother, John, had married a short time previously; his wife and three infant children were called to an early rest. He then went to reside with his brother Yerrick. Yerrick's family consisted of two sons and three daughters, all of whom left Bath in early life.

Some few years after the marriage of Michael and Frederick they with their cousin Caspar revisited their former home at Nieder Stettin. The work of God had wonderfully prospered, though persecution and imprisonment had tried the faith of the new society which had been organised as a result of Mr. Frederick Schumm's former visits and labour. He now records:--

"They were thirsting for the Word. Every evening in the week our large room was crowded. We have had to open a second. Michael spoke in one, I in the other. They had formed themselves into classes, as we had advised them to keep the fire burning in their souls. These we met, and now formed another for the many children who were seeking to be saved. Oh, it was good to see their earnestness! At the end of nine weeks Caspar was anxious to return; so were we, but they entreated us to remain, 'or else,' said they, 'the sorrow of your leaving will be greater than the joy of your coming.' We knew not what to do, the harvest was great, I felt that my wife would expect me but as in former perplexities I laid the matter before the Lord. It seemed His will for me to remain, and for Michael and Caspar to return. They did so, many accompanying them part of the way with great lamentation, but comforted in part by my promise to stay a little longer.

"When, however, the townsfolk knew that I remained to carry on the work, persecution began. Stones were thrown at the windows, we were compelled to give up our evening meetings, and to assemble at four o'clock in the morning. Glory be to God, we did not meet in vain. The Lord's arm was made bare in our midst as it had never been before. A young clergyman from a neighbouring village came to hear the Word and accepted it to the joy of his heart. Then came a summons for me to appear before the magistrates. A young man who had been summoned four months previously had been sent to prison, and then admonished. I had twice appeared before the magistrates on my summer visits, but had got off. Much prayer was now offered on my behalf. The chief magistrate asked me:--

"'What business brought you to Nieder Stettin?'

"I answered, 'To see my friends and relatives, and to do them all the good I can.'

"He replied, 'We don't want you to come from England to teach us. We have our own minister appointed in a regular way: if the people don't like him, or if he does not do his duty, let them complain: but these meetings cannot go on, 'tis contrary to the law of the land. Therefore, you must quit the country by this day week; if not the Hussars shall march you away.'

An order was then sent to the Burgomaster to have the sentence published in the Town Hall. It was expected that I should be sent to prison, or something far more severe, but the Lord only gave them leave to send me home at the right time!

"The week expired on a Monday. On the Sabbath I and my Christian friends went to church in the morning, as we had always done; but when evening came we went out some distance into the fields, and had a blessed season as we joined in singing and prayer. Early the next day we met together for the last time. I commended them to the grace of God, and all were in tears, for we never expected to meet again in this world."

With the following ascription of praise this interesting journal concludes:--

"My love to-day is not like my first love; but-- glory, glory, glory be to God-- it is more flaming now than it was then, or at any time since. Oh, dear Lord, I beseech Thee, enrich me more abundantly, 'till all my soul is love!"

For some months previous to his decease Mr. F. Schumm seemed lifted in spirit above earthly influences. His visits to the house of mourning were hallowed ones, his prayers for the afflicted were frequent and full of sympathy, whether offered in the family, in public, or in class. His wife testified, "I never knew anyone so full of love and sympathy as he was." The evening before he entered into rest he was in his accustomed place in New King Street Chapel. On his way thither he remarked to a friend "I am perfectly happy. My work is done. I am waiting for the salvation of God." After family worship he retired to rest. Awaking early he told Mrs. Schumm he felt very ill, adding, "It's all happiness and heaven." Before the doctor arrived his spirit had escaped to the paradise of God, August 28, 1824.

Frederick was the first of the family called to his reward. His excellent wife soon followed, then in 1827 her sister Mary. In 1829 the three surviving brothers were present at the jubilee services of New King Street Chapel, when Rev. James Wood preached. He had heard Mr. Wesley's discourse at the opening fifty years previously on "We preach Christ crucified," after which the Lord's supper was administered to the then small society of 180 members. In 1829, it numbered 980. The surplice which Mr. Wesley wore whenever he read prayers or administered the Sacraments in Bath was for many years in the possession of Mr. J. M. Shum (son of Michael). After the death of his widow in 1892 it was given to the Allan Library.

Mr. Michael Schumm was appointed a class leader in 1787. In this work he took great delight, and with his three brothers was eminently successful, so that it became necessary to divide their class several times. The enlargement and spiritual prosperity of Methodism in Bath caused them the fullest joy. They took an [a line is missing here] Walcot. It is related that soon after the completion two lads standing near the chapel were speculating as to the meaning of the words "Deo Sacrum" inscribed on the memorial-stone on its front. "I've got it", said one. "It means 'Daddy Shum's Chapel.'" A year or two before Michael's death an accident reduced him to a state of comparative inactivity, but the months which followed saw no diminution of his usual health or cheerfulness. On the day of his decease several friends called to see him, among the rest Rev. Jonathan Edmondson, his pastor. He talked very freely of his religious experience, and being cautioned by his attendant against speaking too vehemently he replied, "I shall not have much longer to talk, so I shall speak while I can." He died Oct. 24, 1831.

John Jacob was made a class-leader in 1782. After his conversion, for more than forty years he rose at four o'clock in the morning. He regularly read the Lessons and Psalms for the day, and then held sweet communion with his Heavenly Father. He conducted the Sunday morning five o'clock prayer-meetings, first in Avon Street and afterwards at New King Street chapel. When past eighty he requested a friend to recommend him to a sleeping partner in his visitation of the sick and poor, because he had so many claims on his charity that he could scarcely meet them all, adding, "But I'll do the work." In this labour of love he usually walked several miles every day up to the age of eighty-six. On the last day of his life he visited several members in the morning, then after dinner went to Walcot to call on an afflicted friend, took a cup of tea in that neighbourhood, and visited others on his way home. He retired to rest about nine, and at three in the morning his niece heard him knocking. On going to his room she found him sitting up in bed. "I'm going home!" he exclaimed. He left his earthly tabernacle for that better home above before medical aid could reach him on January 13th, 1832. Rev. Jacob Stanley preached his funeral sermon from the text, "Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple."

Thus within a few months the last three of this holy band of brothers were called to their reward. Rev. Thomas Jackson in his Autobiography, relates a characteristic incident of their thoughtful and generous hospitality to the ministry of Methodism. In 1808 Mr Jackson, on completing his probation, was journeying from Lincoln to the Conference at Bristol. He and several other "travelling preachers" were obliged to stay at Bath for the night as the Bristol coach was full. "It became known," writes Mr Jackson, "that a company of Methodist preachers on their way to Conference had arrived by the Birmingham coach and we all received a pressing invitation the next morning to breakfast at the house of two brothers, the Messrs. Shum, German by birth, members of the Methodist Society, and examples of Christian godliness. We accepted the invitation, and were hospitably entertained. After praying with the family, and expressing our sense of obligation, we returned to our inn to pay for our supper and accommodation for the night. To our surprise we found that one of the men, whose hospitable abode we had just left, had called in our absence, and discharged all our obligations there." (p.102,3).

This tradition of Methodist hospitality was long and now maintained by Mr. John Michael. [The father, we may add, of Mrs. G.F. White and Mrs. Wiseman. --Ed.] As a child he had displayed a special talent for music. His parents were desirous that this gift should be consecrated to God's service. Their wish was realised. He played the organ at New King Street Chapel for a week-night service on his seventh birthday, and from the age of twelve until his death, in 1872-- sixty-four years later-- he conducted the musical worship in that sanctuary on Sundays and weekdays with eminent talent and devotion. In 1819 he married Mary, daughter of Mr. John Hall [Grandfather of the late Rev. Samuel Romilly Hall. --Ed.], of Bristol, a Methodist of the fourth generation, whose ancestors had been identified with Bristol Methodism from the beginning. In the first year of their married life they welcomed the District Missionary Deputation, including Dr. Adam Clarke and Mr. Joseph Butterworth, M.P., to their home. For fifty-five years, without a break, the coming of the Deputation was the springtide festival of their happy home. The great preachers and advocates and administrators of the message of Methodism were their frequent and honoured guests. Their visits were commemorated in a series of bulky albums of an ancient kind, whose contents Mrs. J. M. Shum delighted to exhibit to her friends. A collector for our Missions [missing word] the Missionary Society was formed, present at the [missing word] first Methodist Missionary Meeting held in London, Mrs. Shum watched the growth and triumph of the following work with an intelligent and enthusiastic interest. It has been calculated that during the seventy-five years she collected on its behalf she must have raised in small sums not less than £2,000, exclusive of her own liberal gifts. Mr. Shum was for many years previous to his removal by death the prompt and energetic Treasurer of this Society for the Bath district. During the painful agitation of 1848 and 1849 he and his devoted wife were among the few Bath Methodists who nobly and loyally remained steadfast and immovable in their adherence to things that have been proved. Mrs. Shum survived her husband two years, and when she died, Aug. 9, 1892, the honoured name of Shum disappeared from the roll of Church membership in Bath. It had held a place there for upwards of a century. In his address delivered at the funeral Rev. R. Jenkin remarked, "I believe there is not left in the whole world one who had maintained so long, and active, and honourable a membership as our late beloved friend Mrs. Shum."