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would be reasonable to expect that some would receive tho right impression, and grow up in holiness. But they have * all gone out of the way.” They “are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies," and God has, therefore, reckoned them all “ under sin, that he might have mercy upon all.
Thus, we say that “ original sin standeth not in the fol lowing of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk,) but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.” — (Discipline.) How this principle of evil is transmitted, we do not undertake to explain. This is as inscrutable to us as the transmission of complexion, form, and features, which we every where see and acknowledge. But our ignorance in this respect does not destroy the fact. We are as sure that children possess this evil nature, as that they are white, or black, or that they belong to the human, and not to the brute race, because it develops itself with the greatest distinctness and uniformity.
We are, therefore, prepared to recognize the mission of Christ in its proper character. Man, having sinned and incurred the penalty of the law, must have been cut off, but for the institution of an atonement, by which God could be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly. One object of Christ's mission was, therefore, to suffer in man's stead, that lie might magnify the law, and make it honorable, by so far enduring its penalty as to preserve the race, and assure man that the law is not to be broken with impunity. Another object was, to endow him with grace and strength to over come his propensities, and obey God, and finally to bring him to everlasting life in heaven.
To have pardoned him without the formality of such an atonement would not justly have represented God's abhor. rence of sin, or his regard for his law. Nor would it have impressed men with suitable notions of the divine guvern ment, of their own obligations to avoid sin, or the danger of committing it. Hence, we consider our lives, our privileges, our hopes, and our enjoyments, among the henefits of the atonement, and look to God through Christ for all that we desire.
We are also prepared to appreciate that great moral change in the human heart, called the new birth. Those who believe the natural heart to be pure, see no necessity for such a change. Education will do all that is required. But, if the “carnal mind is enmity against God,” if the leprosy of sin “ lies deep within,” and “ the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint," training will not suffice; there must be revolution a radical overturn of the whole moral system, and a new foundation laid in “ righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” We, thereforc, fully believe, that, “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” And this new birth “is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” It is an inward spiritual change, obtained in the exercise of repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and is evidenced to the soul of the believer by the witness and fruits of the Spirit, and to others by the manifestation of new affections and habits.
We also hold to the organization of Christians into churches; to the ordinances of baptism, and the Lord's supper; to the religious observance of the holy Sabbath ; to the resurrection of the dead; the doctrine of a general judgment, in which every man shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body, to be followed by everlasting
rewards and punishments. And all these we hold in the language of Scripture, taken in its most natural and obvious sense, and in common with all evangelical Christians. We believe them, first, because they are taught in the word of God; and, secondly, because we have demonstrated some of them by the most satisfactory experiments. We believe them sincerely and devoutly, and rest all our hopes of salvation upon their truth. We have proved them a thousand times in our writings, and preaching, and keep them always before the people as our settled faith. And yet, it is not uncommon for us to be published as Socinians, or Palagians, and deceivers of the people, holding the doctrine of devils. But we submit the question, whether, with the sentiments herein avowed, we are not entitled to a better name?
THE CIARACTER AND HISTORY OF CERTAIN SENTIMENTS WITH
WHICH METHODISTS HAVE BEEN MOST IN COLLISION.
METHODISTS were more distinguished, at first, for their piety and zeal, than for any peculiarity of sentiment. Indeed, they adopted no new principle or theory, except what was necessarily connected with personal experience. Their object seemed to be the revival of pure religion on an old basis, the general soundness of which was conceded. They avowed no creed, nor required subscription to any from those who came among them. A desire to flee from the wrath to come, was the only condition of membership. But this was to be manifested by strict conformity to the requirements of God. They were to abstain from evil of every kind, and do good in every possible way, and thus work out their 5 salvation with fear and trembling."
Herein the origin of the Methodist Church differs from that of most other denominations. They commenced with a mere opinion, as their respective names import. For example, the Baptists became a distinct people on the ground of holding to immersion as the only mode of baptism; the Congregationalists and Presbyterians derived their existence from certain notions of church government; and the Unitarians from particular views of Christ and the atonement
Methodists received their denominational nanie from their ene. mies, and in ridicule; not on account of any opinion they held, but because of their methodical manner of living, and of their singular devotion. They instituted no new system of divinity, or form of government, and labored for nothing but to live correctly themselves, and persuade others to be reconciled to God.
But in reproving sin, exhorting others to duty, and particularly in relating their Christian experience, they came in collision with sentiments to which they could show no indulgence, without doing violence to their solemn convictions, and hindering the work they would promote and extend. These sentiments were various, but none were urged with more earnestness and perseverance than those taught by John Calvin. Though it would seem that Calvinists should be the last to feel concerned about any thing, believing, as they profess to do, that God fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass, and that the number of the elect is so definite that it can neither be increased or diminished, they were among the first to attack Methodism on doctrinal grounds, and they did it with a zeal indicative of fear, lest it should deceive the
elect." The ideas of free and full salvation for every sinner, by Jesus Christ; and of free will, by the grace of God, in
every one, so that all may come to Christ and be saved ; and particularly the liability of believers becoming “cast-aways,
" at last, through their own unfaithfulness, — sentiments which the little band believed with all their hearts, and proclaimed with great pathos and power, not controversially, but persuasively, gave particular offence. And they attacked them in high places, and pursued them into every street and lane, with a recklessness in relation to the spiritual results of such procedure befitting their system. And from that day to the present, and in all countries, Methodism has experienced more