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Any process of imagination may be the understanding, expressed in a resolved into conceptions, and simple abstract term, is to know. these again into simple apprehen- Its first development is in the acsions. The same process of ana- quisition of knowledge. The same lysis directly reduces both, and process is repeated again and again, brings us to the same result. No new combinations are formed as distinct faculty is developed, no the faculty developes, and through new generick class of phenomena man's life on earth, its appropriate is furnished; it is only a develop- employment is to acquire knowment of the understanding, in some ledge. From these facts we might of its most rapid and variously infer, that the design of this imporcombined operations. A good ima- tant faculty is to be forever emgination, therefore, means a readi- ployed in learning the perfections, ness of apprehending appropriate works, and government of God. It relations: and a lively imagination, is an expanding capacity, ever inintends a ready combination of re- creasing in strength by exercise, semblances or contrasts, abstracting and improving in its present brief and associating, without any regard lodgment, until the organs, which to existing connexions.
connect it with this world, decay. In the same manner attention, The intimate and mysterious conabstraction, comparison, habit, and nexion between the mind and its every intellectual process, may be mortal habitation, must remain to analyzed. Let the combination us an inexplicable fact; and how and arrangement be distinguished, mind can act or know without the the nature of each exercise be exa intervention of material organs, we mined by itself, and the class to cannot explain. But the fact rests which it belongs will be easily de- not on inference, or our desire of termined. Such a process of exa its truth. God, who formed both mination conducted throughout, on the spirit and the body, has assured inductive principles, will be satis us of the mind's immortality, and factory and profitable.
its capacity to know and improve, There are some phenomena, or
after its release from the mortal combinations of mental exercises, habitation. The objects of knowhaving appropriate names, which ledge are infinitely multiplied, and belong partly to the intellectual sufficient to employ this expanding class, and partly to others, because capacity for ever. At present, we they combine operations differing know only in part, but how wide, in their nature. But when they even here, the different degrees of are analyzed, each part of the com- knowledge in infancy and ripened bination can easily be assigned to age! But such differences vanish, its class and appropriate faculty. when we think of the cloudless . We shall have occasion to examine intelligence of unembodied spirit. some exercises of this description, The progress of knowledge, when after we have considered the phe- men task their intellectual power nomena of different natures, ac to its utmost effort, under comparacording to the radical principle of tively favourable circumstances, classification. Such are conscience, seems to us rapid. But, in another faith, hope, and several graces of view, this is slow improvement, Christianity.
and no investigation is coinpleted. We close this article with some What must be the march of intelgeneral remarks on the use of the lect, when no clog shall hang on this understanding. This faculty con- continually expanding capacity? stitutes man an intelligent being; In looking abroad through a little it is important to man in all the re portion of the vast expanse, and lations of his nature. The use of thinking how little we know, and
how unbounded and sublime the before the light of reason and Scripmaterials of knowledge, we would ture. like to become philosophers with Were it not that I resolved, at angelick wings, that we might ex the commencement, to exclude all plore the worlds and wonders of doctrinal discussion from these creation. Could we thus svar for papers, I could easily elucidate ages amid the systems of worlds, what I mean, by a slight glance with the mightiest intellect of man's at some peculiarly erroneous sentipossession in this life, we should ments. I would refer to them, have learned little of the works and however, merely as to their pracways of God. We might find ever- tical tendency. Among the Metholasting employment for all our in- dists there is very much religious tellectual efforts in this survey. irreverence,-arising, no doubt, We must have indefinitely en- from their improper views of the larged capacity, even to scan the character of God. It is impossible material worlds. But there are to support their creed without desubjects of higher interest to be in- rogating from some of the essential vestigated in the development of attributes of his nature. His soredemption. This scheme of vereignty, omniscience, foreknowgrace will doubtless furnish an- ledge and unchangeableness, are by gelick and redeemed minds with implication, set aside; and having objects of intense and ceaseless in- lost a just view of his majesty, he can vestigation. These thoughts, which be approached with the less revewe think are authorized by intima- rence. Hence their boisterous and tions of revelation, suggest the im- unmeaning prayers, the great famiportant use of this intellectual fa- liarity with which they treat the culty in the present and future Most High-their crude notions life.
F. on the subject of "getting reli(To be continued.)
gion," and of sinless perfection. They suppose that religion can be obtained and lost at any time that it consists in a boisterous agi
tation of the passions—that other (Concluded from p. 192.)
means than prayer and the avoidBut what is, perhaps, the great. ance of temptation, are to be used est evil of Methodism, is yet to be in overcoming the devil,*-and named. I mean its effect in beget- that reverence and order in reliting improper notions in regard to gious worship are the characterisdivine truth. The influence which tics of coldness and formality. So our views of divine truth exert on incorrect are their notions in rethe heart and conscience, is exten- gard to some truths, and so lax and sive and powerful. In regard to gross as it regards others, that the production of proper religious where Methodism has been to any feeling, our views of truth are every extent prevalent, it is almost imthing. When they are obscure possible to make a proper impresand undefined, there will be a cor. sion upon the mind. You can do responding confusion in our feel- but little else than look upon, and ings; when rational and luminous,
• A man of my acquaintance, a few they impart warmth, vigour, and
years since, cried out, in an evening propriety to every holy affection. ineeting among the Methodists, "brethren, In this view of the subject, how I have got the devil, and will not let deplorable the extension which is him go till I kill him.” He continued given to views and notions based fisting his Satanic Majesty against the
wall, for half an hour, whilst the cries of on clouds, and borne up by va “ Amen,” and “Glory to God,” were pours, which vanish into thin air rising all around him.
weep over the wild waste that is out, “it made no difference to widening around you. That there them whether they went to heaven are individuals among the Method- head or heels foremost.”* With ists, who utterly disapprove of what impressions respecting relimany, or of all the excesses, I have gion would he return from this here mentioned, I freely and glad- scene of anarchy and confusion? ly admit; but that the specified Let any candid mind answer the errors and excesses do prevail question. Such scenes are as litamong them generally, as a sect, is tle calculated to honour the cause what I know to be true.
of religion as those exhibited by I will conclude this paper by say the Stylites, Mystics or Whippers. ing a few words respecting the in I will suppose another case. A fluence of Methodism upon the
man of intelligence visits their world. By the world, I mean un prayer meetings. He hears twensanctified sinners in general. Here ty or thirty praying at once, and I touch upon a topic where what I the less fluent brethren and sisters shall offer may, I am aware, be shouting " Amen.” He hears one opposed by a great show of argu- exclaim “I see the Saviour: there ment. Facts may be stated which he is ;” and another, “ I see heaven will, to all appearance, prove every open, and God preparing to dething which I say to be fallacious. scend to us;" and another crying We shall be told of the great zeal out,“ pray on, brothers and sisters, and success of the “circuit riders" the blessing will soon come." He -of the 450,000 members collect- sees little else than irreverence ed together in the short space of before Him who hath said, “ The 60 or 70 years,-of the revivals Lord is in his holy temple; let all which they have enjoyed-and of the earth keep silence before him." the influence which they exert in With what impressions respecting promoting religion and virtue, and religion will be return from this of checking immorality and vice. meeting? Let any impartial mind I will readily concede the truth of answer. If such scenes are not every modest statement that may well calculated to make the imbe made on all these subjects. Í pression, that religion is only fitted cheerfully admit that they are for the vulgar; that it is all a matdoing much, very much, to advance ter of blind superstition ; I know the declarative glory of God, and not what scenes are. And these to save sinners. And yet I am are the scenes actually exhibited fully impressed with the belief that in nearly every camp meeting, and on the rational, thinking portion of in many prayer-meetings and love the world, their example and in- feasts, from one extremity of the fluence produce a very unhappy country to the other. effect.
And the impressions which these I will suppose a case for the pur- scenes are calculated to make are pose of illustration. A man of in- the very ones that are made. telligence is prompted by curiosity Where the “Methodist religion” to attend one of their boisterous has been for any time prevalent, "camp-meetings." He goes from unchecked by the presence of other camp to camp, and from one pray- denominations, you find the talenting circle to another. He hears ed and influential members of sothe fervid enthusiasm of the preach: ciety, generally in the opposition. ers, which acts upon the mass, as a They are opposed not only to the whirlwind upon the ocean. He Methodists, but to every thing in sees some falling into fits-others exhausted with shouting-others
A scene actually witnessed at a
meeting, but a few miles from my resiprostrate on the earth, and crying dence.
the form of godliness. The region scientiously believes that the cause in which I live, bears a decided of the Redeemer and the good of testimony to the truth of this fact. souls call him to it call him to Methodism was once dominant. It “contend earnestly for the faith carried nearly every thing before once delivered to the saints." it; and now the intelligent and in. In conducting controversy, howfluential are generally infidels, or ever, the religious editor ought something as bad; and are rarely most carefully to guard against an ever seen within the walls of a unchristian spirit, and all harshchurch. Methodism is at present ness of expression; and yet we on the wane: the people are becom- believe he is not bound to adopt ing wearied of it: and that cold such a tameness of style and manchill, which is the sure precursor ner, as to emasculate ihe truth, and of spiritual death, is pervading the render his compositions insipid. whole community. From the facts He should endeavour, in all proper stated, I conclude, that in many ways, to please his readers, by conplaces where the Methodists are sulting the healthful taste and lawdoing much good, they are also ful preference, of different classes, doing much harm; often where and by giving to each in turn, somethey are scattering some of the thing specially calculated for their good seed of the word, they are gratification; but no desire to also sowing the bad seed of opposi- please them, or fear of offending tion and infidelity.
them, should make him swerve With this article, sir, my stric- from the course which he verily tures on Practical Methodism are believes his publick character, and brought to a conclusion. They his responsibility to his Master in were commenced with reluctance. heaven, require him to parsue. They were written and published If he has occasion to name an inwith no pleasure. Nothing but im- dividual—an occasion which will perious duty to the church of Christ not often, and yet may sometimes at large, could ever have induced occur-he ought to permit that inme to make such an exposure. dividual, at a reasonable length, to “What is writ, is writ. Would it speak in his own behalf, for explawere worthier.” I have said many nation, or exculpation, as the case things at which the Methodists may demand. But when no indi. may cavil; but nothing from which, vidual has been named, an editor if they are wise, they may not of a religious Miscellany is under profit.
no obligation, either of Christianity
or courtesy, to respond to the call Editorial Remarks.
of the editors or friends of an of. We think the present a proper fended denomination, for specificaoccasion to state briefly, but dis- tions of times and places, when and tinctly, to our readers, the views where occurrences that have been we entertain of the duty of an edi. mentioned took place, or of indivitor of a religious periodical. duals concerned in such occur
He who superintends such a pub rences. This would unquestionlication, ought, it is believed, to ably lead to an endless series of make it his great object--that assertions and denials, fendings which he should constantly keep and provings, criminations and rein view, and sacredly regard, -to criminations; from which no good, propagate, inculcate, and defend but incalculable evil, would result " the truth as it is in Jesus.” In to religion, and to society at large. doing this, he vught not, on the one Will it then be asked, whether an hand, to seek controversy; nor on editor is under no obligation to the other, to avoid it, when he con- correct erroneous statements, or
injurious representations, which he that, if conviction of error should may have admitted into his work, ensue, the errors should be promptin relation to another denomina- ly acknowledged and publickly cortion? We answer, that he is under rected. a most sacred obligation to correct The items of complaint were, every known error. He owes it to as soon as practicable, transmitted his readers, to the cause of truth, to to the author of the
queshis conscience, and to his God, to tion, and be was asked to say what correct all misrepresentations, how he could in his own vindication. ever unintentional, which he may In the mean time, the editor carebe convinced he has made-every fully inquired of all who he supaberration from truth, into which he posed could give information relamay be satisfied that he has been led: tive to the points complained of; And when complaints are brought and he had opportunities to do so, forward, he ought to inquire and from individuals of candour, reexamine, with all the care and putation, and intelligence, from candour he can employ, to know many parts of the country, both if they are well founded; and if far-distant and near at hand. He he finds them to be so, he should also received letters, in which vofrankly and fully correct his errors, luntary, unsolicited observations and with as much publicity as he has were made on the papers entitled made them-nor do we believe “ Practical Methodism," so far as that such a course as this will hurt they had then appeared in the Adthe reputation of a Miscellany, but vocate; and the whole had appearrather increase and establish it. ed, except the one to which these
The editor of the Christian Ad- remarks are subjoined. The result vocate can say with perfect truth, has been, a more complete and sathat he has faithfully endeavoured tisfactory conviction in the mind to fulfil the functions of his voca of the editor, than he feared the tion, agreeably to the plan above subject would admit of, that nodelineated; and he farther adver. thing has appeared in his pages tises his readers, that it is bis firm that cannot be strictly verified. purpose, in reliance on divine aid, The reports, without one excepto continue in the course which he tion, have been, that the statements has hitherto pursued, and not to be are unequivocally true; and some drawn or driven from it, by any have gone farther in their allegaconsideration whatsoever. He does tions than the writer of “ Practical earnestly desire to avoid giving Methodism.” He, it should be reoffence, but he cannot avoid it at marked, has constantly given due the expense of violating or neglect- credit to our Methodist brethren, ing what he believes to be his duty for much that is commendable and to God, and to the Christian com- excellent; and has exempted numunity.
merous individuals of that commuA very respectable and truly es nion from the charge of approving, teemed 'member of the Methodist much less of promoting, the ercommunion, called on the Editor, rors and excesses which he conand at his request stated what oc demns. curred at the time, as subjects of The worthy complainant, to complaint, in the papers entitled whom we have referred, thought “Practical Methodism.” The state that the term riders, as applied to ments of the complainant were the Methodist travelling or itinewritten down in his presence, and rant preachers, an opprobrious apread to him by the editor, that pellation, and intended to be so; their correctness might be unques. and he also thought that there was tionable; and a promise was made, a general and unjust charge that Vol. IX.-Ch. Adv.