William Krause

The Life And Death Of William Krause

Gospel Magazine 1852:


Within the past month, the Church of God in Ireland has sustained a heavy loss by the removal from earth to heaven of one of the ablest ministers of the New Testament–the Rev. W. H. Krause, Chaplain of Bethesda, Dublin. On Sunday, the 22nd of February, Mr. Krause preached twice—the morning service from 2 Cor. 3:18. In the evening he preached from Gal. 5:25. At the close of his sermon, after warning the professing people of God against putting themselves under a course of ritual observances to give peace to the conscience, he asked, “What is the reason that, upon a sick bed, when the soul is about to be launched into another world, there is sometimes such an anxious inquiry about the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper?” Having spoken at considerable length upon this subject, he concluded by saying, “Oh, brethren, the gospel is able to bear us through the dark valley of the shadow of death; it is able to put a lamp into that darkest valley through which we can ever pass, the valley of the shadow of death. There is no death to the Christian—it is all life. The gospel tells us of life, righteousness, acceptance with God, peace—there can be no fear to the Christian.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 24th, he lectured, as he was wont. The subject was burnt offerings (Lev. 1); and these were the concluding words, not only of that lecture, but of his pulpit ministrations: “May the Lord keep a gospel view of this subject before your minds. Take care that you test all the interpretations of these typical subjects that you may meet with by the gospel of the grace of God; keep to that, and then make everything subject to that great test. And may the Lord impress his gospel more and more on all our hearts, to the glory of Christ’s name, for Christ’s sake. Amen.” On Thursday morning he was taken ill, and early on Friday he was called, by the Master’s own voice, into his own rest.

The loss to his bereaved congregation can only be estimated by those who experience it; but the loss is not confined to them, but extends widely. It has been truly observed, that he filled a chair of theology outside the walls of our University. Many were the brother ministers who counted it a high privilege to attend his Wednesday lectures; and a large number of divinity students were amongst his stated hearers on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Dear Mr. Krause’s labours amongst the young were greatly blessed of God. His Friday class, for catechetical instruction, was numerously attended. Often he has said, that it was to him a sweet sphere of labour.

The remarks made by Mr. Irons, on the occasion of the death of Dr. Hawker, are truly suitable to the case of dear Mr. Krause; this will be obvious to all who knew him. Of Dr. Hawker Mr. Iron says, “As he lived, so he died; and, blessed be God, both for his life and for his death, he lived on earth dead to the world, and now he lives in heaven to die no more. His life was walking with God, and his death was falling asleep in Jesus; and both his life and death were triumphant refutations of that unjust insinuation, that the glorious doctrines of free grace lead men to licentiousness. I would say to such calumniators of the truth, find me, if you can, a man more valiant for those sentiments commonly reviled as high—a man of more integrity, of more spirituality, or of more consistency in public and private life; and I know I shall have set them a task they cannot perform.” Again, Mr. Irons observes, “The removal of a saint of God, however circumscribed his sphere, however limited the circle in which he moved, is of no small moment; a wrestler with God is missing, the ranks of Zion’s army are thinned, and the very strength of the Church militant seems diminished, until the arm of the Lord is made bare, and almighty grace smites another soul to the ground, causing it to be said again, ‘behold he prayeth,’ and thus fills up the chasm made by death, preserving to himself a seed upon the earth. If such be the importance of the removal of one of the least of the soldiers of the cross, what shall we say when the prominent and leading officers are taken away, when the veterans of the Lord’s army are removed in the very midst of the campaign? Oh! how the stroke is felt! how Zion mourns, and how surviving soldiers, and particularly surviving officers, are called upon to be more bold and courageous in the cause of God and truth. Another watchman is missing from the walls of Jerusalem, another trumpeter has ceased to blow the certain sound, therefore, let those who remain increase their vigilance, and strive to make the sound of free grace wax louder and louder.”

[The Sermon from which these extracts are made being now out of print, it will, with the concurrence of Mr. Irons, and by request, be published April 10th, as No. 197 of “Grove Chapel Pulpit,” published by Aylott and Jones, Paternoster Row.]

The Congregation of Bethesda Chapel needs the sympathy and the prayers of God’s people, that God may be pleased to raise up one to fill the vacant post; that he will send a man taught by himself, one who will faithfully echo the truths which were so fully proclaimed by him whom he has taken.

W. T. K. 

To the foregoing we subjoin two letters which appeared in the Dublin Christian Examiner for March:

“To the Editor of the Christian Examiner.

My Dear Friend,—

I beg to send you the following particulars of our beloved friend, to make such use of as you may think fit. You know he commenced his public career in the British army, and was at the battle of Waterloo. When the reduction of the army took place after the peace he left, but with regret. He ever retained an ardent attachment to it, and always said that he could have continued in it, without feeling that he compromised, in the slightest degree, his Christian principles. After leaving the army, he came to Ireland, to attend the marriage of a brother officer. A pious lady, sister of this officer, was the first, under God, to lead Mr. Krause to search the Scriptures. He perused Canne’s Bible, and applied himself to its study, with its numerous references, with untiring diligence. He thus acquired a very intimate acquaintance with the Sacred Word, which gave him, as a minister, a facility of quotation which we have never seen surpassed, and rarely equalled. While Mr. Krause was thus studying his Bible, he enjoyed the Christian instruction and direction of a dear brother in Christ, the Rev. Edward Wade, of Derby; and from whom, he said, he heard his first gospel sermon. He was also much helped by books, to which he ever referred with pleasure; ‘Romaine’s Law and Gospel,’ and ‘Cecil’s Remains.’ He now thought of entering the ministry; and in order to prepare for it, he went to read with Mr. Rogers, of Wakefield, in Yorkshire. He intended to go to Cambridge; but something occurring to prevent this, he came to Ireland, and engaged as moral agent with the Late Lord Farnham, and at the same time passed through Trinity College. He was a pupil of Dr. Singer. The connection between Lord Farnham and Mr. Krause was only interrupted by his lordship’s death. It had subsisted for many years. In 1886, Mr. Krause was ordained for the curacy of Cavan by the late Bishop of Kilmore, at whose request he entered his diocese, and left a sick bed to hold a special ordination for him. He was appointed to the chaplaincy of Bethesda in December, 1840, which he held till February 27th ultimo. Never was a minister more beloved by a congregation. His preaching was especially marked by its experimental character. Although only three years in the ministry when he came to Bethesda, he preached as one matured by lengthened experience. His sermons teemed with Scripture; nor did he ever make a statement for which he had not Scripture authority. I shall add no more, as I feel I have said all that you require for your purpose. I never knew any one more zealous for his Master’s glory; never one who so firmly maintained and asserted God’s sovereign grace in the salvation of sinners. May our gracious Lord be with us, and give us much of his own Spirit.—Believe me, my dear Brother in the bonds of Christ, ever yours affectionately,

Robert Law

“We need hardly say,” adds the Editor of the Journal before mentioned, “that we cordially subscribe to the sentiments in Dr. Law’s most interesting communication. ‘There never was a more faithful expositor of divine truth than Mr. Krause, nor a ministry, for its comparative briefness, more abundantly blessed.

He was gifted by God with intellectual powers of a high character. Habits of Scriptural study and constant prayer; the obvious devotion of his thoughts, feelings, and faculties, to the great end of his ministerial office; his firmness in the advocacy of divine truth, and his uncompromising adherence to high principle; his stern rejection of all that fell short of the demands of an enlightened conscience; and, with all this, a happy and unruffled serenity of mind, and, if we may so say, a courtly cheerfulness of manner and address, were amongst the eminent distinctions of our departed friend, and must remain, singularly bright characteristics as they are of the Christian, the scholar, and the gentleman, as undying memories with all who knew, and only knew to love and value him.

We find we are speaking from a full—an overflowing heart. We could not have been his friend, and enjoyed the privileges of his intimacy, and not speak as we do, and as we feel. But the attendance, unequalled in our experience, at his funeral this morning (March 3rd), as well as the most affecting address of the Archdeacon of Raphoe on the occasion, with the tears of the orphan children of the Bethesda Chapel, who wept as for a parent, are sufficient testimony that we neither feel nor say too much.

Mr. Krause came over to this country, previous to his engagement with Lord Farnham, to attend the marriage of a brother officer, with whose wife’s sister he formed an acquaintanceship, which ended in their being married. He was strongly confirmed in his religious impressions by his excellent wife, who survived their union but two years, and who suffered, during a good part of that period, from the lingering illness of which she died. Diligently and prayerfully they searched together the Scriptures of truth; and it was, no doubt, Mr. Krause’s painful experience of his beloved partner’s sufferings, and his own personal affliction, that rendered him so valuable a comforter in the trials of others. His wife left one child, a daughter, who survives the best of fathers, and for whom we would earnestly ask the prayers of all God’s children, that she may be supported and comforted in her bereavement. Words could not convey Mr. Krause’s deep affection for his only child, whom God had spared to him, not only as a companion, but, as he loved to acknowledge, a constant counsellor.

The subjoined extract is from a letter addressed to his brother-in-law, Feb. 3, 1827, and will show the spiritual condition and tendency of his heart and feelings at that period:—

‘When I wrote on the subject I felt this strongly in my own mind. We are, each of us, exactly in the spot, and under the very circumstances, that the lord is pleased we should be in. We might wish matters to be otherwise; but, thanks be to the Lord for what He has taught us out of His Word, we all feel that He is right, and that we could not safely be entrusted with our own wishes. Yes, it is true and comfortable, that the Lord is just and merciful in all His ways. By-and-bye we shall see such a development of His wisdom and His love as will fill our then capacious hearts with eternal adoration, love, and praise. Now, we walk by faith; and though the journey is through a wilderness, and the road rough, we know at the end there is a rest. Daily am I led to roll myself upon this conviction, as the great and consoling consideration amidst all the uncertainties, disappointments, and entanglements of this world. ‘In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul.’ It is unspeakably cheering to the Christian to simplify his faith. Do you understand what I mean?—to resolve everything into the grand object of faith—the Lord Christ. In every spiritual consideration we are to begin with that blessed truth. ‘He hath made Him to be sin for me, who knew no sin, that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him.’ Laying this foundation always, what may we not build on it? How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? It is our privilege to believe that we are shut up in an everlasting and unchangeable covenant—and all the attributes of Jehovah are the wings under which Jesus gathers His people. I thank my God that in your trials you are supported. I, too, have experienced that the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him and I am fully persuaded that it is in the most trying dispensations that the Lord’s people have most spiritual comfort. May His peace rest upon you both, my beloved brother and sister.’

How beautiful and how touching this is! And how clearly we see, in the few brief but comprehensive and striking sentiment in this extract, the germ of the doctrines so fully and powerfully developed by him as a minister of the gospel.

There was no direction in which Mr. Krause could make his services profitable to the cause of truth, that he did not freely and cordially give them. He had large classes of young persons, especially young men intended for the ministry, to which he earnestly devoted his time and attention. And, under the good hand of God, we owe to Mr. Krause’s advice, instruction, and example, some of the most able, energetic, and efficient clergymen in the Irish Church.

We pause. Not because our subject is exhausted, but because it is inexhaustible. It is amongst the strongest of the strong consolations left to the survivors of such as Mr. Krause, that he must continue to present himself in every aspect of Christian worth and excellence to them who, cherishing the truth as it is in Jesus, cannot fail to cherish the memory of one who could indeed say with the beloved disciple, ‘I have no greater joy then to hear that my children walk in truth.'”

Thus writes the Editor of the Christian Examiner; and to his we would add our own feeble testimony, that upon the one occasion we were privileged to listen to this faithful ambassador for God and truth, we shall never forget his clear, sound, Scriptural statement, but also gratefully remember the dew, and savour, and power that attended the same. It has been said—and, we think, with much propriety—that what Mr. Krause was formerly by profession in the world—the warrior—that he was in the Church. But, as far as we could judge from the sermon we were privileged to hear, in him were singularly combined the Boanerges and the Barnabas. His subject upon the morning referred to was the character of Jacob. A point of doctrine was involved. In that erect, bold, fearless posture in which he was wont to stand in the pulpit, he met the point in question. Re-acting his part at Waterloo, he stood to his colours, and boldly, fearlessly, faithfully to his God and to his conscience, met the foe; with tact, and skill, and energy, he wielded the sword of the Spirit; and then, having laid his antagonist prostrate; the enemy silenced; the conflict o’er; he turned, as it were, to his wounded comrades, and in the gentlest, softest, most soothing accents, administered of the balm of Gilead. In imitation of the Great Captain of salvation, he sought to “heal the broken in heart, and to bind up their wounds.”

Personally, we have felt, and still do deeply feel, the removal of this great man of God.

The Editor

Bonmahon, March 20, 1852

To The Editor Of The Gospel Magazine:

Dear Sir, 

As you seem to take an interest in all that concerns the dear departed minister to a part of the Church of God, the Rev. W. H. Krause; and, as a true soldier of the militant Church of Zion, you lament for the removal of one of its most valiant champions, and sympathize with the sorrow of that flock suddenly bereft of a tender under-shepherd’s care, I have presumed that perhaps you would like to place in your most valuable and scriptural Magazine, the accompanying copy of the inscription on the tablet, just erected in Bethesda Chapel, to the memory of that highly-favoured man. Copies have been sent only to the subscribers. As your Magazine is circulated principally, I believe, in England, many might be glad of seeing a copy of the tablet and monument. I enclose also a copy of the monument erected by the congregation over his tomb, and the inscription which is upon it, which was written by dear Mr. Krause himself, for another clergyman’s tomb, but was not used at that time. I beg to remain,

Your affectionate brother in the belief and love of the truth,

Dublin, Sept. 20, 1852.

Tablet—Sacred to the memory of the Rev. William Henry Krause, M. A., for 11 years the devoted and beloved minister of Bethesda Chapel. 

The gospel he loved to proclaim to sinners was the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ for the complete salvation of his believing people, from eternity to eternity, effectual redemption—conceived and planned in the everlasting councils of the God of love and ratified and sealed in these last times, by the death and resurrection of the Lord of life, according to the covenant engagements of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—with him man was nothing—Christ was all.

This heart-felt tribute of a deeply-attached and grateful people, unneeded though it be, to perpetuate the memory of him who, “in season and out of season, never shunned to declare unto them the whole counsel of God,” may serve, when personal recollections shall have ceased, to incite others to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and “not to be ashamed of the gospel of the grace of God.”

He departed this life on the 27th day of February, in the year of our Lord 1852, in the 56th year of his age.

“As ye know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God.” 

Epitaph—In memory of the Rev. William Henry Krause, M. A., late of 45, Dominick Street, and for 11 years Chaplain of Bethesda Chapel, Dublin, in which place he was owned and blessed of God, and beloved of many as a laborious and affectionate pastor, and faithful preacher of the gospel of Christ. He felt in his own soul the preciousness of Jesus, and as of sincerity and as of God in the sight of God, he laboured to make known among his fellow-sinners the unsearchable riches of Christ, he “shunned not to declare all the counsel of God,” proclaiming to the chief of sinners that “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin,” whilst he uncompromisingly maintained the sovereignly and power of God in the salvation of his people; from first to last it was his delight to encourage these to look for “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; “and when it pleased the Lord to call him hence, he departed in peace, knowing whom he had believed, and persuaded that he was able to keep that which he had committed to him against that day. He died on the 27th February, 1852, aged 56 years.

William Krause (1797-1852) was a High-Calvinist Anglican preacher. In 1840, he was appointed to the chaplaincy of Bethesda Chapel, Dublin, a position he held until his death twelve years later.

Born on the island of St. Croix, West Indies, Mr. Krause was brought to England at an early age, receiving education at schools in Fulham and Richmond. After joining the army at the age of eighteen, he was enlisted with the Fifty-First Infantry, and fought against the Napoleonic forces at Waterloo in 1815. At the age of twenty-six, he visited Annefield, Ireland, to attend the wedding of his friend, Captain Joseph Dyas. It was through the eldest sister (Angelina Ridgeway) of Mr. Dyas’ fiancé that Mr. Krause was led to a saving knowledge of Christ. One year later they were married, she giving birth to Eliza in 1823. Ten months later, in September 1824, Angelina died of consumption, leaving a widowed husband and motherless child. Mr. Krause never remarried, but went on to earn a master’s degree in 1838 from Trinity College, Dublin. He ministered for two years as chaplain of Cavan, then eleven years as pastor of Bethesda Chapel, Dublin. On February 27, 1852, Mr. Krause died at the age of fifty-five. His only daughter, Eliza, thereafter married an Anglican preacher named William James Pollock. Together they had a son named William Henry Krause Pollock, who would become a world-famous chess master (1884-1896).