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from Northampton, in August, 1740, will sufficiently exemplify our author's style :-
THE DANGEROUS ILLNESS OF A DAUGHTER. When I came down to prayer on Lord's day morning, at eight o'clock, immediately after the short prayer with which you know we begin family worship, Mrs. Wilson, (who has indeed showed a most prudent and tender care of the children, and managed her trust very well during your absence,) came to me in tears, and told me that Mr. Knott wanted to speak with me: I immediately guessed his errand, especially when I saw he was so overwhelmed with grief that he could scarcely utter it. It was natural to ask if my child were dead? He told me she was yet alive, but that the doctor had hardly any hopes at all, for she was seized at two in the morning with a chilliness, which was attended with convulsions. No one, my dear, can judge so well as yourself what I must feel on such an occasion; yet I found, as I had just before done in my secret retirements, a most lively sense of the love and care of God, and a calm sweet resignation to his will, though the surprise of the news was almost as great as if my child had been seized in full health; for every body before told me she was quite in a safe and comfortable way. I had now no refuge but prayer, in which the countenances of my pupils, when I told them the story, showed how much they were disposed to join with me. I had before me Mr. Clarke's book of the Promises; and though I had quite forgotten it, yet so it happened that I had left off, the Sabbath before, in the middle of a section, and at the beginning of the sixty-fifth page, so that the fresh words which came in course to be read were Matt. xxi. 22, 'And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive;' the next, 'If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done to you;' then followed, 'Whatsoever ye shall ask my Father in my name, he will give it you;' Ask and receive, that your joy may be full;' 'Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the son;' 'If ye ask any thing in my name I will do it;' and at last, 'The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. These scriptures falling thus undesignedly and unexpectedly in my way, at that moment, and thus directly following each other, in the order in which I have transcribed them, struck me and the whole family very sensibly; and I felt great encouragement earnestly to plead them in prayer, with a very firm persuasion that, one way or other, God would make this a very teaching circumstance to me and the family. Then Mr. Bunyan came, and pleaded strongly against blistering her ; but I told him it was matter of conscience to me to follow the prescriptions of the doctor, though I left the issue entirely to God, and felt a dependence on him alone. I then wrote you the hasty lines which I hope you received by the last post, and renewed my application to God in secret, reviewing the promises which had so much astonished and revived me in the family, when those words, ' The prayer of faith shall save the sick,' came on my heart, as if it had been from the very mouth of God himself; so that I could not forbear replying, before I was well aware, “then it shall;' and I was then enabled to pray with that penetrating sense of God's almighty power, and with that confidence in his love, which I think I never had before in an equal degree ; and I thought I then felt myself much more desirous that the child might be spared, if it were but a little while, and from this illness, as in answer to prayer, than on account of her recovery simply, and in itself, or of my own enjoyment of her. I lay open all my heart before you, my dear, because it seems to me something of a singular experience. While I was thus employed, with an ardour of soul which, had it long continued, would have weakened and exhausted my spirits extremely, I was told that a gentleman wanted me: this grieved me exceedingly, till I found it was Mr. Hutton, now of the Moravian church, whose Christian exhortations and consolations were very reviving to me. He said, among
other things, 'God's will concerning you is, that you should be happy at all times, and in all circumstances; and particularly now, in this circumstance; happy in your child's life, happy in its health, happy in its sickness, happy in its death, happy in its resurrection!' He promised to go and pray for it, and said he had known great effects attending such a method.
So it was, that from that hour the child began to mend, as I wrote word to you by him that evening, and by Mr. Offley yesterday morning. I can not pretend to say that I am assured she will recover; but I am fully persuaded, that if she does not, God will make her death a blessing to us; and I think she will be spared.
We can not close our sketch of this amiable and interesting divine, without introducing an epigram of which he was the author, and which Dr. Johnson calls, one of the finest epigrams in the English language. The subject is his family motto, 'Dum vivimus vivamus,' which, in its primary signification, is not very suitable to a Christian divine, but he paraphrased it thus :
Live while you live, the epicure would say,
At this period appeared those two remarkable men, Wesley and White field. Brought up in the established church of England, but ultimately sepa rating from it, they passed through a career of popularity and usefulness rarely attained by ministers of the gospel.
John Wesley, the great founder of Methodism, was the son of the rector of Epworth, in Lincolnshire, and was born on the seventeenth of June, 1703. In the twelfth year of his age he was placed at the Charter-house-school, London; and in 1716, was elected to Christ's Church College, Oxford, where he prosecuted his studies with more than ordinary assiduity, till he obtained his master's degree. In 1725, he was ordained deacon by Bishop Potter, and the following year became fellow and tutor of Lincoln College. He, his brother Charles, and a few other students at Oxford, formed themselves into a society, and resolved to live on principles of greater austerity and devotion, than then prevailed in the university, in consequence of which they received the appellation of Methodists.
After officiating a few years as curate to his father, Wesley's burning zeal became dissatisfied with his formal ministerial labors at me, and he there. fore went out as a missionary to Georgia, to convert the Indians. His expectations were not, however, realized abroad, and after an absence of a little more than two years, returning to England, he, in 1738, commenced fieldpreaching, travelling through every part of Great Britain and Ireland, and establishing Methodist congregations wherever he went. The grand doctrine of Wesley, and that which drew thousands to his standard, was universal re
demption, in contradistinction from the Calvinistic doctrine of particular redemption; and his proselytes were, by the act of conversion, made regenerate men. The Methodists also received lay members as preachers, who, by their itinerant ministrations and unquenchable enthusiasm, contributed materially to the extension of their societies.
Wesley continued to preach, to write, and to travel, till he was eightyeight years of age ; and his apostolic earnestness and venerable appearance procured for him, everywhere, the profoundest respect. After having preached about forty thousand sermons, and travelled three hundred thousand miles, his highly useful and laborious career was terminated on the second of March, 1791. His body lay in a kind of state in his chapel at London, the day previous to his interment, dressed in his clerical habit, with gown, cussock, and band; the old clerical cap on his head, a Bible in one hand, and a white handkerchief in the other. The funeral service was read by one of his old preachers. "When,' according to Southey, 'he came to that part of the service, 'forasmuch as it hath pleased God to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother,' his voice changed, and he instituted the word father, and the feeling with which he did this was such, that the congregation, who were shedding silent tears, burst at once into loud weeping. At the time of Wesley's death, the number of Methodists in Europe and America was eighty thousand; they are now more than a million.
The writings and journals of Wesley are very voluminous; but the following passage, from his celebrated argument on Christian Perfection, is all that our space will allow us to introduce :
I have now done what I proposed. I have given a plain and simple account of the manner wherein I first received the doctrine of Perfection, and the sense wherein I received, and wherein I do receive and teach it to this day. I have declared the whole, and every part of what I mean by that Scriptural expression. I have drawn the picture of it at full length, without either disguise or covering. And I would now ask any impartial person, What is there so frightful therein ? Whence is all this outcry, which, for these twenty years and upwards, has been made throughout the kingdom, as if all Christianity were destroyed, and all religion torn up by the root ? Why is it, that the very name of perfection has been cast out of the mouths of Christians; yea, exploded and abhorred, as if it contained the most pernicious heresy? Why have the preachers of it been hooted at like mad dogs, even by men that fear God: nay, and by some of their own children; some whom they, under God, had begotten through the gospel ? What reason is there for this? Or what pretence? Reason, sound reason, there is none. It is impossible there should: but pretences there are, and those in great abundance. Indeed there is ground to fear, that with some who treat us thus, it is a mere pretence; that it is no more than a copy of their countenance, from the beginning to the end. They wanted, they sought occasion against me: and here they found what they sought. This is Mr. Wesley's doctrine! he preaches perfection. He does: yet this is not his doctrine, any more than it is yours; or any one's else that is a Minister of Christ. For it is his doctrine, particularly, emphatically His ; it is the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Those are his words, not mine, 'Ye shall, therefore, be perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.' And who says, ye shall not? Or at least, not till your soul is sep
arated from the body? It is the doctrine of St. Paul, the doctrine of St. James, of St. Peter, St. John: and no otherwise Mr. Wesley's, than as it is the doctrine of every one who preaches the pure and the whole gospel. I tell you, as plain as I can speak, where and when I found this. I found it in the oracles of God, in the Old and New Testament, when I read them with no other view or desire but to save my own soul. But whosesoever this doctrine is, I pray you, what harm is there in it? Look at it again: survey it on every side, and that with the closest attention, In one view it is purity of intention, dedicating all the life to God. It is the giving God all our heart; it is one desire and design ruling all our tempers. It is the devoting not a part, but all our soul, body, and substance to God. In another view, it is all the mind which was in Christ, enabling us to walk as Christ walked. It is the circumcision of the heart from all filthiness; all inward as well as outward pollution. It is a renewal of the heart in the whole image of God, the full likeness of him that created it. Yet in another, it is the loving God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. Now take in which of these views you please, (for there is no material difference,) and this is the whole and sole perfection, as a train of writings prove to a demonstration, which I have believed and taught for these forty years, from the year 1725 to 1765.
Now let this perfection appear in its native form, and who can speak one word against it? Will any dare to speak against loving the Lord our God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves ? Against a renewal of heart not only in part, but in the whole image of God? Who is he that will open his mouth against being cleansed from all pollution both of flesh and spirit? Or against having all the mind that was in Christ, and walking in all things as Christ walked? What man who calls himself a Christian has the hardiness to object to the devoting, not a part, but all our soul, body, and substance to God? What serious man would oppose the giving God all our heart, and the having one desire ruling all our tempers ? I say again, let this perfection appear in its own shape, and who will fight against it? It must be disguised before it can be opposed. It must be covered with a bear-skin first, or even the wild beasts of the people will scarce be induced to worry it.
But whatever these do, let not the children of God any longer fight against the image of God. Let not the members of Christ say any thing against having the whole mind that was in Christ. Let not those who are alive to God oppose the dedicating all our life to him. Why should you, who have his love shed abroad in your heart, withstand the giving him all your heart? Does not all that is within you cry out, 'O who that loves, can love enough ? What pity that those who desire or design to please him, should have any other design or desire ? much more that they should dread, as a fatal delusion, yea, abhor, as an abomination to God, the having this one desire and design, ruling every temper? Why should devout men be afraid of devoting all their soul, body, and substance to God? Why should those who love Christ, count it a damnable error, to think we may have all the mind that was in him? We allow, we contend, that we are justified freely, through the righteousness and blood of Christ. And why are you so hot against us, because we expect to be sanctified wholly through his spirit? We look for no favour either from the open servants of sin, or from those who have only the form of religion. But how long will you, who worship God in spirit, who are circumcised with the circumcision not made with hands, set your battle in array against those who seek an entire circumcision of heart, who thirst to be cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God? Are we your enemies, because we look for a full deliverance from the carnal mind, which is enmity against God? Nay, we are your brethren, your fellow-labourers in the vineyard of our Lord, your companions in the kingdom and patience of Jesus. Although this we confess (if we are fools therein, yet as fools bear with us), we do expect to love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. Yea, we do believe, that he will in this world so cleanse
the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit, that, we shall perfectly love him, and worthily magnify his holy name.?
GEORGE WHITEFIELD, for some years the associate and friend of Wesley, was born at Gloucester, in 1714. From the Crypt school of his native town, he entered, as a servitor, at Pembroke College, Oxford, and immediately after he was graduated, was ordained by Benson, Bishop of Gloucester. A zealous enthusiasm now pervaded all his actions, and he preached, not only in prisons, but in the open fields ; and by a strong persuasive eloquence he soon attracted a multitude of followers. In 1738, he came to America, and greatly increased the number of his followers; but after laboring for some years in conjunction with Wesley, a serious dispute arose between them, and a separation followed. While he zealously asserted the doctrine of absolute election and final perseverance, agreeably to the notions of Calvin, his opponent regarded his opinion as unsupported by Scripture, and therefore inadmissible; in consequence of which arose the two sects of the Calvinistic and the Armenian Methodists. Secure in the good opinion of a great number of adherents, and in the patronage of Lady Huntingdon, to whom he was chaplain, he continued his labors, and through the assistance of his munificent patron, built two Tabernacles in the city of London for the commodious reception of his followers. He died in 1770, while on a visit to the churches he had established in America.
As a popular orator, Whitefield was passionate and vehement, wielding his audience almost at will, and so fascinating in his style and manner, that Hume, the historian, said he was worth travelling twenty miles to hear. His writings, however, are tame and commonplace, and it is much to be regretted that he should have injured his fame by resorting to publication.
A passing notice is here due to two divines, Dr. Warner and Dr. Leland, authors of two of the best Histories of Ireland hitherto published.
FERDINANDO WARNER was born in 1700, and educated at the university of Cambridge. Having taken orders, he rose rapidly in the church, until hệ obtained the rectory of St. Michael's Queenhithe, London, and that of Barnes, in Surrey, between which he passed the remainder of his life. His death occurred on the third of October, 1768.
Dr. Warner was a very voluminous and successful writer. Besides the History of Ireland,' he was the author of A System of Divinity and Morality, on the most important Points of Natural and Revealed Religion, a Life of Sir Thomas More, the History of the Rebellion and Civil War in Ireland, and Bolingbroke, or a Dialogue on the Origin and Authority of Revelation. His Life of Sir Thomas More,' contains many of the most valuable reminiscences we have of that truly great man.
Dr. Thomas LELAND was a native of Ireland, and was born in Dublin, in 1702. He was educated at Trinity College, in his native city, and enjoyed the