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such natural results of their own rally great pains are taken to perlabourz, than in reports of increased suade seceders that they are still collections, profound, unbroken members of the Old Connexion ; jeace, and revivals of the work of notwithstanding they have separate God, are not to be listened to as re- Preachers, who in separate places formers of Wesleyan Methodism. preach and adıninister the sacra“ To reform the church by dividing ments, a regular printed plan, and it,” says Baxter, “is no wiser than separate society, Leaders', Local to cut out the liver, or spleen, or Preachers' and Quarterly Meetings; gall, to cleanse them from that and that where this artifice fails, the which doth obstruct them, and hin- forlorn hope is held out of their der them in their office. You may speedy return on their own terms, indeed thus cleanse them, but it will and of the re-adınission of hundreds be a mortal cure."
who some time since could not brook Two or three features of the pre- discipline, and for whose moral and sent opposition are worthy of remark. religious character we can have no Most of the leading agitators are guarantee. men on whom it has been found Meanwhile, what sentence is passed necessary to exercise discipline. upon such proceedings, as, under the Some of the societies wbich hare name of superior sanctity, have made been most agitated have drunk deep us a reproach and a by-word ? Such into the spirit of political party; and other communities as do not follow some evil consequences to religion the fate of war, and live upon the were most certainly to be expected. wounded and dead of any battle. Others have long been prejudiced field, will not rejoice that the peace against their Ministers by systematic of our societies has been ruthlessly efforts to depreciate their personal broken in upon. All such will concharacter; and no wonder that the demn and pity the men thus engaged malignity thus generated is now in schism, without even the pretence directed to their official character. of important scriptural principles ; The public meetings which have the qualification of an enlightened bren called have consisted princi- and dispassionate judgment; or any pally of members of all denomina- manifestation of superior regard to tions, and of no denomination, with the spiritual welfare of our Zion. only a sprinkling of bona fide Wes- Facts and history will soon develope leyan Methodists. Operations were and record the truth in reference to commenced against us with declara- the principles and motives of all tions that nothing “new” was parties in the present struggles ; wanted; whilst measures were pro- and we hope that sufficient will be posed which would, if adopted, their punishment who have caused vitiate our whole system. After divisions, when the calmer day wearisome marching and counter- arrives in which bitter tears shall marching, it has come to this, and mark their returning sense of honour is published with a sort of officiality, and of Christian feeling. that “it is not easy to say how they Allow me now to advert to the can accomplish what they wish, grave question, What is our duty without abolishing Methodism, or re- under present painful circumstances? ducing it to a state of ruin." Have Decision and firmness in the mainthey proceeded so far wrong, that tenance of our principles, and mosome remaining love of Methodism deration in our temper, are most makes the prefer acknowledging especially required. The question the above fact, that the Conference is every day narrowing itself; and may yet save the cause by denying events rise to show more clearly the their requests? or is it that David's designs of our opponents, and what prayer on a somewhat similar occa- alone will satisfy them. Every man sion is again answered,—“O Lord, should inform himself on the great I pray thee turn the counsel of principles at issue ; what “legal difAhithophel into fcolishness ?” It ficulties," some of which are acknowought also to be noticed, that gene- ledged, lie in the way of our reformers; and what the genius and design polity, must necessarily be open to of Methodisın will allow, and what unanswerable objections. it will not allow, of these pro- It is also essential to the great purjects.
poses referred to, that the character The paramount duty of the Me- of the ministry should be in the thodists is ever to keep steadily in keeping of Ministers themselves. view their great primitive design, Whatever would endanger the purity
-"to spread scriptural Christianity of the ministry would endanger the through the land,” and thereby success and stability of Methodisin. through the world. Nothing must One of its great glories is, that its be allowed to interfere with this their ministry is unfettered. Dependent great calling. Their doctrines, their upon the people, as a body of men situation in respect of other churches, separated from worldly avocations, their system, their influence, are all for that supply of their temporal adapted to this blessed design ; and wants, which is made an express they must directly pursue it, rather duty of the church, they are perthan ally themselves to subordinate fectly unshackled in the discharge of schemes, which indirectly, or inci- ministerial duties ; at liberty, withdentally, may advance Christianity; out fear or favour, to denounce sin, They are doing a great work, and and enjoin duty upon all classes and cannot come down" to become a individuals; and, especially, never so mere party, nor to give their influ- dependent upon the rich and great, ence as a body to any purposes but as to have their consciences ensnared the direct service of religion and in announcing the “doctrine,” or humanity. “Let us ourselves re- enforcing “the discipline, of the member," said the Conference of Lord.” Yet this liberty has its pro1520, "and endeavour to impress on per balancing checks, inasmuch as our people, that we, as a body, do they may readily be impeached if not exist for the purposes of party; they subvert the doctrines, or violate and that we are especially bound by the discipline, of Methodism, or walk the example of our Founder, by the contrary to the Gospel. Any changes original principle on which our soci- which would place, or tend to place, eties are formed, and by our constant the character of the Preachers in the professions before the world, to avoid keeping of the people, by making a narrow, bigoted, sectarian spirit; them associate judges of their qualito abstain from needless and unpro- fications, or of their discharge of mifitable disputes on minor subjects of nisterial duties, would obviously theological controversy, and, as far violate an essential principle of as we innocently can, to please church government. The two sysall men for their good to edifica- tems here considered have been seen tion.' Let us, therefore, maintain in actual working; and we may toward all denominations of Chris- fairly challenge any one to produce tians who hold the Head,' the an instance of so great a body of kind and catholic spirit of primi- men, equally exposed to temptation tive Methodism; and, according to and danger, who have maintained a the noble maxim of our fathers in greater degree of moral purity than the Gospel, be the friends of all, the Methodist ministry for now the enemies of none.""
ninety years. Methodism will always admit of “The Methodists must take heed such modifications of detail as new to their discipline,”-as our veneracircumstances may render desirable ble Founder said at the close of a for its greater efficiency; but all that long life, rich in experience on is essentially Wesleyan must ever be church matters.--" or they will be preserved. The integrity of the like persons who bestow much pains Connexional principle, to which we in cultivating their garden, and put have referred, must be maintained; no fence round it, to keep out the and any changes which would even wild boar of the forest." Whole. appear to involve the sacrifice of this some law never pinches any but the vital principle of our ecclesiastical lawless and disobedient; and who
expects these to approve of either judgments, that we are not at liberty law or punishment? But what to write in defence of the Confera would Methodism have been without ence, of its principles, rules, instituits vigorous system of discipline? tions, and usages, or to vindicate No one can read our early records the decisions and course of an overwithout perceiving the value Mr. whelming inajority. Those in mi. Wesley, and the first Preachers, set norities may appeal to the passions upon this only means of purifying of the long-known disaffected, in the and invigorating a Christian church. parlour, or in vestries, or by the It is no proof that discipline is press; or may resort to worldly au. now less required, or ought now to thority to overthrow an ecclesiastical be relaxed, that it is so clamorously power which themselves have often resisted. There will always be those exercised; but the victims of a powho object to be its subjects, and pular phrensy may not wipe off asothers to be its administrators. persions from their character; or Some, in their anxiety about nume- explain and defend the principles rical strength, are perhaps in danger and conduct of that majority which of undervaluing religious purity; must give the final decision, and Some have a natural timidity, and enact the law. will not endure the trouble. Some The other objection is a sad mark have not prospective views of the of the state of a religious faction; tendencies of evil, and do not there that when we insist upon it that our fore anticipate the results of its full supreme regard ought to be paid to developement. And perhaps some the all-important questions of perare tempted to act on the eventually sonal piety and religious usefulness, costly principles of a miserable ex- we are twitted with a design to evade pediency, instead of walking by rule; minor questions, as if we were afraid and trust to the Providence or grace of grappling with the arguments or of God to prevent, or overrule, or the strength of our opponents. We mitigate, those consequences which now make no flounting professions, they cannot but expect will sooner and hope hereafter to make no unhalor later result. Yet there are not lowed display of triumph. But if wanting modern illustrations of the any one may be heard in the mild value of such a judicious, impartial, and sweet tones of a divine philosoand affectionate discipline, as shall phy, and the discord of our strange not only purge the church of indi- sounds, it is surely such an one as vidual transgressors, but be strong John Ilowe. Speaking of the subenough to protect a whole society stantial and agreed verities brought from the designs of a powerful fac- forward in his “ Blessedness of the tion. There are societies, and some Righteous,” he says, “ It is indeed to which a prominence has been un- equally matter of complaint and wisely giren in the present contro- wonder that men can find so much versy, which have suffered the ex- leisure to divert from such things cisions of the pruning-knife, and wherein there is so much both of whose present healthy, thriving, importance and pleasure, unto (what and vigorous, aggressive character, one would think should have so litand hearty engagement in every de- tle of temptation or allurement in it) partment of Methodism, may satisfy contentious jangling. It might raus that a temporary inconvenience ther be thought its visible fruits and may be the seed of a lasting bless- tendencies should render it the most ing
dreadful thing to every serious be. We are aware that there are two holder. What tragedies hath it objections urged against any freedom wrought in the Christian church ! of "remark on our part, on the topics Into how weak and languishing a to which we have now adverted as condition hath it brought the relifully as our peculiar circumstances gion of professed Christians! Hence allow or demand. A very mistaken have arisen the intemperate, preterprinciple has been adopted by many, natural heats and angers that have and grievously has it warped their spent its strength and spirits, and make it look with so meager and especially avoid personal acrimony. pale a face. We have had a greater Men have often been made violent mind to dispute than live. And is opponents of a good cause which it not to be resented, that men they once espoused and loved, only should sell away the solid strength through some caustic personal reand vital joy which a serious soul mark. would find in substantial reizion, for such toys ? yea, and not only
“ Be calm in arguing; for fierceness
makes famish themselves, but trouble the Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.” world, and embroil the church with
And, their impertinencies? When contention becomes a man's element,
“ Wit's an unruly engine, wildly striking and be cannot live out of that fire; Sometimes a friend, sometimes the engi
neer." strains his wit and racks his invention to find matter of quarrel; is re- It was not in the spirit of sarcastic solved nothing said or done by others bitterness that St. Paul defended the shall please him, only because he truth of God against Gentile philosomeans to please himself in di-sent. phers, and against Jewish advocates ing; disputes only that he may dis- of the Mosaic law; nor did St. Peter pute, and loves dissension for itself: and St. Jude expose with levity and this is the unnatural humour that scorn those misguided men who, in hath so unspeakably troubled the their times, disturbed the peace of church, and dispirited religion, and the church, by speaking, perverse filled men's souls with wind and va- things, and attempting to draw away nity; yea, with fire and fury. This disciples after them. They reproved hath made Christians gladiators, and these divisive proceedings with unthe Christian world a clamorous flinching fidelity; but with yearntheatre, while men have equally af- ing : pity, and with many tears. fected to contend, and to make os- The cause of God needs not the tentation of their ability so to do.” hand of an Uzzah to support it. Let those who are tempted to se
The duties of the times are plainly cede on the ground of the present such as many, we would hope not controversy, remember that Method- the bulk, of religious professors are ism was what it is, in all its import. indisposed to. Our general religious ant features, when they voluntarily character needs more information, associated themselves with us; and steadiness, principle, system, selflet them well consider the question denial, retirement, contemplation. of religious allegiance; and whether Activity, despatch, bustle, ferment, they do not enjoy all the rights and distinguish all the movements of soprivileges they ever did, or that were ciety in everything,-in politics, ever proposed to them. Let them commerce, education, enterprise, reconsider the obligation of their vows ligion. The immediate instinctive to God; the probable issue to their appetite is for novelty and excite. own spiritual estate ; and the almostment. The calm of retirement, in certain influence of such a step upon which the stillness of men's passions, their families, who may not be able like the bosom of a tranquil lake, to perceive all those distinctions and receives and reflects the brightest opinions by which they are fain to hues and the very depth of heaven, satisfy their own consciences. is comparatively unknown. Reli
Finally, let us all take heed to our gious knowledge is too exclusively temper and spirit in this controversy. acquired from the pulpit; too little We may be right in our principles, from the deep seclusion in which when we are wrong in our spirit; men realize the most awful truths and the latter is apt to make a far and interests of immortality. Men greater impression upon men's minds are in too much haste to be wise. than even the weight of our argu. They have not time to converse with ments. In conducting the present con- the 'mighty dead. The rapidity of troversy, let us maintain a complete this world's movements indisposes governinent of our own temper, and them for calm, well-considered, great
The celerity sure, from a rigid faithfulness in and ease with which all matters of the judging ourselves, that we desire most passing interest are supplied nothing in comparison with the pro. to the public desire of novelty, pro- gress of that great spiritual work duce a mental intoxication, and which God has committed to us as the inebriating cup only aggravates an influential body of Christians, their thirst. Society has become and the increase of our own souls in morbidly excitable, versatile, super- every devout and holy affection. ficial, and unquiet. A passion for “ Then the earth shall yield her inpolitics, in all the varieties of political crease, and God, even our own God, creeds, has greatly served to produce shall bless us, God shall bless us; and the present state of things, and has all the ends of the earth shall fear superinduced upon men's natural him.” In the mean while, how searepugnance to caution and restraint sonable is the admonition of the such a sensitiveness, that if there be Apostle !—"Put on therefore, as the a suspected tincture of a man's elect of God, holy and beloved, bow. political creed, it will not surprise els of mercies, kindness, humbleness us if his soundest advice be rejected, of mind, meekness, long-suffering; and bis most wholesome and neces- forbearing one another, and forsary cautions despised.
giving one another, if any man have We must lean the other
way ; a quarrel against any : we must oppose these tendencies Christ forgave you, so also do ye. of society, and of our own minds. And above all these things put on Our business is to retire from the charity, which is the bond of perscenes of strife to the word of God; fectness. And let the peace of God to subtract more time from the busi- rule in your hearts, to the which also ness and frivolities of the world for ye are called in one body; and be ye intercourse with heaven; to isolate ihankful.” (Col. iii. 12-15.) ourselves, and scrutinize the prin
. ciples on which we act. Let us be
Notices of the Holy Land, and other Places mentioned in the Scriptures ;
visited in 1832-3. By the Rev. R. Spence Hardy. 12mo. pp. 354. Smith
and Elder. It is still the custom, in many knowledge that such a desert was parts of the world, to measure and three days' journey across,--that note distances as they were for the from the last well to the nearest humost part measured and noted by the man habitation was ten hours,--that ancients, and of which we find many from this country to that was not instances in the Scriptures, that is less than a journey of two months. by the time taken to traverse them. But all this, with some few excepIf we knew all the metaphysical re- tions, is changed. What with the lations between duration and space, actual admeasurement of roads, and we should very likely find that this what with the accuracy and preci. practice was very philosopbical; at sion of astronomical and geographiany rate it was sufficiently con- cal observations, not only are the venient for them who employed it. true distances between different Before the roads were marked with places, in most instances at least, mile-stones, and stage-coaches ran carefully noted, but the dimensions along them with guards and time of the world it: elf are tolerably well keepers, it was found that the aver- known, and it eeems irr possible now age pace of men, horses, and camels either to extend its limits, or con. was pretty uniform, and all requi- tract them. It is very well that it is site parposes were answered by the so; or modern inventions and im