« הקודםהמשך »
and from the goodness of God; out relying upon his own resources from man's being unable to do and confiding in himself. And as without such assistance, and from we must alway be responsible in God's being too just to require proportion to our ability, he who impossibilities, and therefore toomisemploys the superior talent of merciful not to give it. It is a grace, has to apprehend a sorer supposition honourable to the me. punishment (Heb. x. 29.) than the diatorial character of our Saviour, man who has only to account for as it ascribes our release from the the abuse of the inferior powers bondage of corruption to His pow- and ordinary endowments of a deerful and gracious interposition. It 'praved nature. The doctrine, there. does not sauction a man's resting in fore, of our own total corruption, a state either of despair or of indo- and of the special grace of God lence, but it nrges him on to work preventing us, carries with it greater the work of Him that created him encouragement to do well, and more by powers derived from grace, in- alarming motives to deter us from stead of beginning with reliques of doing ill, than can possibly be sug. former powers preserved amidst the gested by any confident hope of ruins of the Fall. God's working arriving at a “ partial degree of with man is, in the opinion of an virtue," by our own unassisted Apostle, a sufficient reason why powers. As to the danger of the man must work also. (Phil. ii. doctrine of man's total corruption, 12, 13.) What were the primitive I could wish to close my remarks powers of human nature in their with the following passage from most perfect state, no man can be Archbishop Tillotson : « God is able to declare ; but the sufficiency, always beforehand with us in the the perfect adequacy, and the rea, offers of His grace and assistance, diness of the power of grace to an- and is wanting to no man in that swer every just demand that can be which is necessary to make him made upon it, must be freely ad- good and happy. No man shall be mitted by all who have a lively able to plead, at the day of judg. sense of, and who reflect upon, the ment, want of power to have done goodness and the mightiness of God. his duty; for God will judge the it cannot be doubted, but that world in righteousness ;' and then whatever difficulty or temptation I am sure He will eondemn no man can overtake the nature of man, a for not having done that which was way may and will be made to es- impossible for him to do. God cape, by a God of mercy and of hath done enough to every man to justice, that it may be able to bear leave him without excuse.
St. Paul it. Let it be supposed, then, that tells us, that the blind heathens a man is fully persuaded that he should have no apology to make for bimself is utterly belpless, but that themselves. Next to the being of God is beforehand with him by the God, and his goodness and justice, offers of His grace. In this case he I do as verily believe it as I do any is sensible that he is called upon to thing in the world, that no man work out his salvation with powers shall be able to say to God at the which, properly used, can never great day, Lord, I would have refail, instead of engaging in an ardu- pented of my sins, and obeyed thy ous task with a measure of strength, laws, but I wanted power to do it; the sufficiency and adequacy of I was left destitute of the grace which he has reason to distrust, which was necessary to the per He travels on his way under better formance and discharge of my duty; auspices, with livelier hopes of suc. I did earnestly beg thy Holy
, cess, and under an higher degree of but thou didst deny me. No wan encouragement, than if he had set shall have the face to say this to
God at the great day; every man's “ The most pious of those, who conscience will then acquit God, lived under the Mosaic dispensation, and lay all the fault upon his own often acknowledge the necessity of folly and neglect: for then' every extraordinary assistance from God: mouth shall be stopped, and God David prays to God ' to open his shall be justified in his saying, and eyes, to guide and direct bim; overcome when we are judged."" to create in him a clean heart, and
I should not trouble you, Sir, to renew a right spirit within him.' with the little misapprehensions of And Solomon says, that God dimy meaning, into which C. P. bas recteth men's paths, and giveth fallen, nor with his misapplication grace to the lowly.'” To this tes. of texts of Scripture and of the timony of the Bishop we may add, tenth Article, if I did not believe, that is Holy men of God spake as that the clearing up of these matters they were moved by the Holy would contribute to my main design. Ghost,” not merely to foretel the In the same page, to which I have rise and fall of kingdoins connected already referred, he has charged with the destinies of the Church, or me with assuming what I was not to prepare for the coming of the entitled to do, instead of producing Messiah, but to call men to immeproofs. But if he will once more diate repentance.
Therefore the tum to the 262d page, he will per- Holy Spirit was not an unconcerned ceive, that no assertion is hazarded, spectator of the conduct of manbut that a question is merely asked ; kind before the Gospel dispensation. that no new argument is proposed Nay, he must actually have wrought by myself, but that a weakness and for their conversion, or St. Stephen defect in the argument of another is could not have said, “ Ye do always pointed out. There being no self resist the Holy Ghost : as your evident impossibility in the suppo Fathers did, so do ye.” I would sition, that man in all ages may also refer C. P. to the eleventh have been made righteous by the chapter of the Epistle to the Heimperceptible, preventing, and co brews, that he may satisfy himself operating power of grace, that dis. to what principle the righteousness putant must examine and disprove of Abraham and of other worthies this, who would establish the con is to be ascribed; whether to faith trary hypothesis on sure ground. and its attendant benefits and If the righteousness of the patri- powers, or to a principle separate archs and of others can by any from grace, and centering in thempossibility be ascribed to the in- selves, and in their own arm of fluence of Him, who in the secret flesh. By the gift of God's Holy manner of his working is compared Spirit,” says Tillotson, (vol. iii. p. to the wind, then that righteousness 611.)“ is not only nieant the comcan never be admitted as a decisive mon and transient operations of evidence of remaining powers in God's Spirit upon the minds of men, man, unless it be distinctly shewn, exciting and disposing them to that that it is the production of those which is good; (for thus the Spirit powers, and not of the foreign and was given to men in all ages, from external influence. The Bishop of the beginning of the world, but the Winchester, who has advanced the special presence,
" &c. The well argument of the righteousness of the known arguments, that “ He, who patriarchis and of others, to prove is always taking care of all his that mau is not totally corrupt and other works, down to the very naturally incapable of good, has meanest things on earth,” cannot expressed himself in the 250th page “ disregard the most important of the second volume of his Theo- thing in it, the cternal interests of logy, in the following manner. the souls of men;" that “ He, who
REMEMBRANCER, No. 33.
hath established the ways by which how early it commenced, or to have His creatures communicate their seen the documents which are now minds one to another, must” “ be in our possession. As they have able to communicate" his Spirit" to several distinct claims to public at them, when he judges proper ;' tention, we shall lay the greater that He, who “ requires obedience part of them before our readers, in from his creatures, yet does not the present and some succeeding require impossibilities ;'' these ar Numbers. guments are as applicable to the By studying Wogan's character times before the coming of Christ, and principles, as they are deve. and to the whole Gentile world, as loped in this correspondence, we to “ these last days” and to those, shall be enabled to form a proper to whom have been « committed estimate of the men who were forthe oracles of God." Upon the saken, and of the doctrines which whole, the state of the argument were renounced by Wesley when he appears to be this: We know, that turned into the path of fanaticism. many instances of genuine righte- He was on intimate terms with Woousness did exist before Christ gan, before and during his residence came; we know also, that “ though at Savannah; but after he returned the Spirit was more abundantly to England
to England their correspondence poured forth upon the publication ceased, and the disciples of Wesley of the Gospel, yet God “ hath from and Whitfield are known to have the beginning striven with’ the bad, treated Wogan with very little cere. and instructed and established the mony. If a pure and holy life had good, by his Spirit within them;" been the only object of iheir pur. and that therefore the aforesaid suit, ought they to have separated, righteousness must have been, in or could they have separated from part, the fruit of grace. But wbe- such men as Mr. Wogan? It is ther in any or in what degree it is evident that he gained a quick into be ascribed to the natural powers sight into the faults of Wesley's of fallen man, independent of pre- character. He saw that every thing venting grace, we have no conclu was pushed to an extreme, and sive evidence. (For many excellent foretold that the same self-confiremarks on the state of Heathens, deuce which contended for the see Whitby on the Five Points. necessity of a weekly adminis. Fifth Discourse.)
tration of the Sacrament, in spite I am, Sir, yours, &c. of the opposite sentiments and
W-r. opposite practice of the Church, August 8, 1821.
would ultimately lead to more se(To be continued.)
On this ground the papers are as creditable to Wogan's
sagacity, as to his judicious and Unpublished Correspondence between sober piety. He understood the
Wesley and Wogan. nature and disposition of man, We have been permitted to tran. less accurately than the dispensa. scribe the following correspondence tions and revelations of God; and from documents in the possession of when the Methodist or Semi-Me. Mr. Wogan's family. He appears thodist says, that Wesley owed his to have kept copies of his own let success to the lukewarmness and ters, and Wesley's are originals. false doctrine which pervaded the The editor of the last edition of Church of England; when the CalWogan's Essay on the Proper Les- vinist or Semi-Calvinist says, that sons refers to the correspondence baptismal regeneration is a modern (Life of Wogan, p. xxviii.), but discovery, of which our ancestors does not appear to have known never heard; we can appeal confi.
dently to the lives and writings of a of any persecution. We must have Wogan as a proof that the real other arguments than this, or else tenets of our venerable Estab- “resist even unto blood.” One arlishment
taught even to gument, and one only I can allow Wesley himself, and were appa. to be sufficient, to set aside the rently believed and acted upon very heart of our Lord's commandby him ; and that however small ments, viz. that I cannot obey it, may have been the benefit which pro hâc vice, without breaking one he derived from the lesson, bis that is greater. When that is proved teachers had certainly learned to be to be our case, we shall think ourgenuine followers of Christ.
selves authorised to set aside the No, I. Wesley to Wogan.
constant (i. e. here) weekly com.
munion. To Mr. Wogan, at his House in
I once had determined to have Spring Gardens, Il'estminster,
said nothing of my personal behaDear Sir,
viour, but do now think you have FROM the words of our blessed a right to know it.
a right to know it. As my judgLord, as interpreted by the Church ment is, " that the wrath of man Catholic, whose authority in matters worketh out the righteousness of of faith and interpreting Scripture God,” agreeable to this has my our own Church commands me to practice ever been. Pity I have acknowledge, I infer that his in- shewn to them who oppose me on tention was, we should receive the this point, but never passion. I Eucharist daily. And from thence have not, to my knowledge, at any I conclude with Bishop Beveridge, one time, since the beginning of the that every Christian ought so to debate, uttered one angry, much do, as often as he can. This, so less bitter word, to 'or of any one long as I am myself convinced of of my pupils. Such a fervour as it, I am obliged, (if I can) to con consists with love, weekness, gentlevince those of, whose souls are ness, and a quiet spirit, I would committed to my care: and to give the world for, and know I can entreat them who are convinced to never have enough of it: nor can I act accordingly, by receiving it ever shew too much of it, either every time they can. As to its be- in writing or conversation, where ing a positive duty, or a circum. any, the least love of my Redeemer stantial command, that I conceive is attached. not at all to alter the case.
It is a
All other fervour I totally disduty, because it is a command : claim ; always in my principle, and therefore I advise not the frequency, with regard to this question, in my but the constancy of performing it: practice. Notwithstanding, I earas finding all the ancient and most nestly intreat you, never to grow modern divines agreed, that at what weary of warning me against it, or time soever you may obey Ciod if of praying for, you will, at that very time (be it
Dear Sir, once a year, or once a day,) you Your ever obliged, and are obliged to obey him.
Most affectionate hun ble Servant, I conceive, that obedience to
JOHN WESLEY. every command of God, is an in
O.con. 29th Aug. 1733. dispensable duty; and, therefore, whensoever any such command is
No. II. To Mr. Wesley. at stake, (whether it be called essential or no,) it is the cause of Dear Sir, God and of his truth, and therefore I AM concerned that I have not to be contended for earnestly, and been able to return a speedier annever to be given up for the sake swer to your last favour. I own,
indeed, it has not been business negligent and the timorous. I shall only which prevented me. The pass by the first, as foreign to our subject of it has lain much on my present enquiry, and confine myself thoughts, but such is the nature of only to the humble but timorous it, that I scarce yet dare venture candidates of the holy Eucharist. upon an
You argue so
They are convinced of the duty well and closely for a frequency of of such a constant communion as communion, that is (as you explain you plead for, but either finding it) a weekly, yea, daily reception of certain obstacles in themselves of the Eucharist, when it may be so unfitness or unpreparedness, they had, that I may not presume to op- are afraid to approach, either at pose you, nor do I; neither indeed all, or too often to that awful and was it ever my purpose to condemn tremendous ordinance ; or else obor impugn such a practice. But serving the rules or even customs rather as Moses, in his answer to of their superiors, are inclined by Joshua, wished that all the Lord's an humble modesty and deference people were prophets, so I would towards their governors, to stand to God that all who bear the sa- back, rather than presume to run cred name of Christ, were constant, before their betters. yea daily communicants, as they Although they hunger and thirst were in the earliest age of Chris- after the holy food, they think it tianity, while the blood of our Sa- more becoming their station to abviour was yet warm, and the Church stain, than by any seeming forwardwas thoroughly inflamed with her ness to give offence. And surely first love.
this behaviour cannot justly be conIt is true, also, that our holy demned. Our Lord himself seems mother, the Church of England, to justify it by that conduct and who is certainly the likest in every answer of his in the case of tributefeature to that lovely original, has money. Although he asserted his so provided for her children, that exemption from paying the tax rethey might and should come every quired, yet he submitted to it for day to that heavenly feast. What this humble and benevolent rea; then withholds ?
Cur non possum sou—lest he should offend them. Ego (as St. Augustin said in another If this modest diffidence proceed case) quod isti et ista ? That there from that poverty in spirit, which are impediments is too plain ; our Lord pronounces blessed; or many, yea most of them, unjustifi. that care of oflending, which he able ones, others lawful, and some justified by his own practice, we expedient. The argument, then, must beware of urging too far any
me, will turn als positive duty, or institution, least together upon this question, what we incur the woe of offending one are those impediments, which in of those little ones. Much less some cases may justify a less fre- should we censure and judge them quent communion than the primi- for refraining, least we untit even tive Church practised, and our own ourselves for that feast of charity intends, at least wisbes for ? which we are pressing them to par
Now these obstructions seem in take of, and so run both ourselves general of two kinds ; some charge and them into a fatal premunire of able on ourselves, as particular receiving unworthily. members, and some on the gover Supposing they abstain on a nors of the Church, with whom
mere and perhaps unwarrantable she has entrusted the care of dis- scruple, still they are by no means pensing the bread of life.
to be overpressed in it, until that The impediments from ourselves scruple be clearly removed. As relate to two sorts of persons. The we are commanded of God, to take