orthodoxy, would tantalize us with salvation by the merit of good works, the omnipotency of free-will, and the unsound ness of our doctrine of justification ;' while some would smile atbaby baptism,' as an affront offered to the Deity, and an innovation upon apostolic usage.'

In respect to church legislation in the early times of which we are speaking, it need only be said it was moderate; con sisting in those slight changes which the progress of the cause seemed to demand. The General Conference of 1796 contemplated the numerous locations that had annually occurred with deep regret. And yet, while the labor was so excessively hard, the fare so poor, and the liability of premature old age, with poverty and want, was so great, there was little room to complain. To relieve these difficulties, and, if possible, check the tendency to location, the Conference established what is now known as the 66 Chartered Fund,” and provided for an address to the people to meet the emergency, by contributing of their substance. Though this measure did not make up the deficiences of the preachers' claims, it did something toward it, and has since afforded partial relief; but whether it has not been the occasion of more withholding on the part of the people, is a question.

The year 1799 was distinguished for the origination of Camp meetinys."

This wonderful means of grace was providential in its conception. Two brothers by the name of M'Gee, one a Presbyterian minister, and the other a Methodist, went to attend a sacramental occasion with Rev. Mr. M'Gready, a Presbyterian minister in West Tennessee. The Methodist preached first, and was followed by the Pres. byterian and the Rev. Mr. Hoge, whose preaching produced a powerful effect. One woman became so deeply im. pressed she shouted aloud for joy, and there were other


demonstrations of an extraordinary character.

Messrs. M'Gready, Høge, and Rankins, all Presbyterian ministers, left the house ; but the M'Gees remained to see the salva. tion of God. Great was the power that rested upon them. John was expected to preach, but he told the people that his feelings were such he could not, and sat down amid sobg and cries from every quarter. This brought the people out to see what these things might mean. Many came a great distance with horses, and waggons, and provisions, and so numerous was the crowd the church would not contain them. This drove them into the forest; and the distance of many from home, and the impossibility of obtaining accommodations among the people, made it necessary for them to camp out, which they did, worshipping God day and night.

This was something new, and attracted great attention. And it was no less effective. The different denominations, seeing that God was in the measure, gave it their countenance ; but one after another withdrew, until it was left almost exclusively to the Methodists. Since that time they have employed it to good purpose, notwithstanding its old friends have said many hard things against it. In the early days of Methodism, when meeting-houses were few and preachers scarce, camp meetings were peculiarly useful. Hundreds were converted through their instrumentality. In the course of the eight years following their introduction, the net increase to the church was eighty-two thousand six hundred and sixty-four members, and a corresponding increase of preachers.

March 31, 1816, closed the career of that great and good man, and pioneer of Methodism in this country, Bishop Asbury. When he came to New York, forty-five years before, the Methodist connection numbered about six hun

dred members. After battling with the winds and storms of near half a century, he bade a peaceful adieu to the church he had loved and cherished as a mother her children, embracing six hundred and ninety-five travelling preachers, and two hundred fourteen thousand, two hundred and thirtyfive members. But these statistics convey only a faint idea of what was accomplished during the period named. To estimate this properly, we must consider how many were converted and taken to Abraham's bosom ; how many joined other churches; how many more were improved and made happier and better in various respects; and how much was accom plished in extending the itinerant plan through the States and territories, and in the British Provinces; and in placing ministers at different points, among the various classes and tribes of men, to watch the indications of Providence, and preach the gospel in every place, whether palace or wigwam, that might be opened to receive it. A foundation was laid upon which others have built so nobly since, and without which they must have labored with less effect.

In looking over the history of the four years following the decease of this patriarch of Methodism, it is delightful to observe that, though the Lord took away the “master builder," he did not suffer the work to cease. Indeed, death was not permitted to touch him till others had been raised


with hearts and heads to take the cause where he 'eft it, and bear it on toward its grand destination. The net increase during this time was forty-five thousand, six hundred and fifty-five members, and two hundred and one travelling preachers.

This period was distinguished, also, by certain prudential arrangements, which contributed greatly to the strength and influence of the body, and the extension of the work. The * Tract Society" of the Methodist Church was formed by

a few individuals in 1817, with a view to supplying the poor with suitable religious reading. This furnished an easy and cheap method of reaching many people the church had nerer addressed, and answered as well for defence, as attack on the sins and prejudices of unbelievers. It was an old measure of Mr. Wesley's, and had been very useful. Its influence since that time is well understood.

The year following, the Methodist Magazine was issued, under the editorship of Rev. Joshua Soule. This was an advance step. It opened a medium of communication with the people that had long been needed. Not less than ten thousand subscribers were obtained the first year; and the doctrines and institutions of the gospel became better understood, and the people of God more established in the unity of the faith.

About this time, too, another effort was made to promote the cause of education in the church. The “Cokesbury College” had been twice burned, an attempt to establish district schools had failed, and the people were quite discouraged. But in 1817 Dr. Samuel K. Jennings and some others opened a literary institution in Baltimore, which they called “ Asbury College.” This, however, appeared but for a little time, and then, to the mortification of many, it vanished away. The same year an academy was established in Newmarket, N. H., under the patronage of the New England Conference; and two years after, another, in the city of New York, under the patronage of the New York Conference. These were approved by the next General Conference, and other Conferences were advised to establish similar institutions. The bishops were also authorized to appoint presidents, principals, or teachers, to all such establishments. But this was not effected without some opposition. Though the church owed so much to the learning

of its founders, some did not realize the importance of education.

This period was also marked by the revival of camp meet ings in Kentucky, where they had been quite suspended on account of various irregularities. The first one held in that quarter about this time was visited by many young men, with bottles of whiskey in their pockets, whose inten tion was to disturb and break up the meeting. But the church trusted in the Lord, and moved forward. Toward the close of the meeting the power of God fell upon the encampment. The young men referred to became alarmed, and some, dashing away their bottles, humbled themselves in prayer, while others fled to the woods, wailing with bitter anguish, and crying earnestly for mercy.

Thus a great revival of religion commenced, which resulted in the conversion of hundreds.

“ The Missionary and Bible Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church” was organized in the city of New York, April 5, 1819. A Missionary Society was formed within the bounds of the Philadelphia Conference about the same time. The next General Conference approved of both organizations; but considering the Book Room was in New York, and for some other reasons, it adopted the constitu tion of the society located there, bating that part which related to the publication of Bibles, and made its head quarters at the Book Room. To this central organization were soon added numerous auxiliaries, and the missionary spirit has continued to increase till the present moment, though not in proportion, we think, to the increase of our numbers and wealth.

During the last war with Great Britain, which was declared June 18, 1812, the relations of certain societies in the Canadas, with the Methodist E. Church, became con

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