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be made available in the attainment of holiness, he knew not. His reliance was mainly placed upon his own efforts, and upon sacramental efficacy. In this state, with the best intentions, but with very defective qualifications, he went abroad to convert the Heathen; he failed in his mission, and returned home with the humbling conviction, that he was himself unconverted, in the true evangelical sense of that term. How he spent thirteen years of unavailing effort to attain purity of heart, finding, after all, that his nature was still unsanctified ; and how he was at length taught the all-important doctrine of present salvation from sin, by present faith in the sacrificial blood of Christ, which one of his friends aptly denominated “ the sinner’s short way to God,” he has related with inimitable simplicity, frankness, and candour: and with all deference to the Reviewer, this affecting record, which exhibits the providence and grace of God in their combined operation, is as interesting as it is instructive, and will be read with spiritual profit by generations yet unborn, as it has already been thus read by many thousands of persons who now “sleep in Jesus.” The record of Mr. Wesley's conversion, and of the circumstances which preceded, accompanied, and followed it, showing the manner in which God in his endless mercy prepared one of his choicest instruments of good to the world, I must still crave leave to think, is somewhat “better than a turnpike-log!”
2. There are persons who have also found in the Journal of Mr. Wesley an authentic account of one of the most extraordinary revivals of religion that the world has ever witnessed since the apostolic times : a revival as deep as it is extensive. Methodism is a great fact, which merits the careful study of the politician, and of every religious man. In Great Britain and her colonies, as well as in America, its influence is incalculable, both upon general society and upon bodies of Christian people who are not immediately connected with it; and it shows no signs of decay. The man who would see this work in its origin, real nature, and gradual development, must study the Journals of Mr. Wesley. Here we see how the high and unbending Churchman became a field-Preacher, and, in despite of the parochial system, a Pastor of religious societies, scattered all over the kingdom ; spurning the trammels of ecclesiastical etiquette, and subordinating everything to the personal salvation of redeemed men. Methodism, in its practical working, is the most perfect development of religious liberty. It sets at nought all acts of uniformity, by whomsoever put forth, when they interfere with the conversion of souls. It practically asserts a freedom as perfect as that which the Apostles claimed, when they went daily into every house in Jerusalem, and thence through heathen nations, everywhere proclaiming, as with a voice of thunder, “Ye must be born again!” A hundred years hence, when party-feeling has subsided, and a true ecclesiastical historian shall arise,-a Mosheim, a Neander, or an evangelical Milman,-in detailing the stirring events of the eighteenth century, he will refer to the Journals of Mr. Wesley as the most precious document of the times ; unfolding all those principles and elements, the practical application of which turned the world upside down. To the philosophic eye of such a man the Journals will appear something “better than a turnpike-log." Yet it is not every man that can at present perceive their real value: nor is this to be wondered at. Perhaps a man might have been found at one of the annual feasts in Jerusalem, who regarded the rich assemblage of precious stones upon the breast-plate of the High Priest as nothing more than a few pebbles ; so that, had he seen one of them fall from this splendid pectoral, he would have scarcely thought it worth his while to pick it up.
3. Once more. Some readers of Mr. Wesley's Journal have found in it the recorded opinions of an acute, learned, intelligent, and pious man, concerning the books which he read, the men with whom he was brought into intercourse, with the events and objects which came under his observation in all parts of the three kingdoms, during the long space of sixty years ; with a considerable number of letters, written by himself in peculiar emergencies, and by other persons who either objected to his proceedings, or concurred with him in sentiment and action. Such a work cannot but be profoundly interesting ; and I cannot doubt, that when our critic has read it, he will be of the same judgment. That he has not read it, is indubitable; for if he had, he could not by possibility have fallen into the mistake, that Mr. Wesley, as a Preacher, “ seldom coped with a multitude.” This “turnpike-log," allow me to say, contains gems of thought and maxims of wisdom on an endless variety of subjects, which an intelligent reader will turn to the best practical account. Nov. 9th, 1847.
The Congregational Lecture, Twelfth Series. The Revealed Doctrine of
Rewards and Punishments. By Richard Winter Hamilton, LL.D.,
(Concluded from page 1018.) The subject of Dr. Hamilton's second lecture is, “ The law and government of responsible agents.” In this he advances a few steps from the first, and brings before us the great questions of law,-chiefly divine law,what
may be termed the facts and operations of human nature, in reference to an established moral government : and then, the Gospel, as a remedial system, fully adopting the law, from the consequences of violating which it proposes to set man free, and offering to man what the glorious wisdom and love of God have provided for him, the rich blessings of salvation, comprehensively, those of justification and regeneration,-for the fallen sinner, the condemned and the unholy.
Our principal work in this lecture will be that of extracting. On some points, indeed, we see not exactly eye to eye with the Lecturer; and as we go on, we may possibly advert to what we consider as objectionable. But our task is in no degree polemic. Amidst so much that is excellent, and where the substantial agreement is so considerable, we should no more do justice to our own feelings than to Dr. Hamilton, were we to pause, for the purpose of censure, every time we met with what we might consider as verbal, or even as denominational, inaccuracies. The volume has afforded us too much pleasure, and, we do not hesitate to say, too much profit, to allow any such proceeding.
The description of the contrast between human and divine governinent is forcibly given, and well sustained. And most impressive is the contrast the Lord is our King.”
Society could between all that we discern of divine not subsist without magistracy and legal and human ruling power.
“ The Lord restraint. In surveying the operations is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, of earthly government, we are struck
with the complexity of its proceedings, to exact the connexion. The blow may and the jealousy of its principles. On be long delayed which strikes down the every side, there are its inquisitions and oppressor ; but his first act of injustice its menaces. It clothes itself with pomp. smote him. The punishment which apIt is full of stir and ferment. There is pears slow has already fallen. The deal. parade and obtrusion. It loves cere- ing is summary. The punishment has monial and emblem. It holds court and begun. The wicked flee when no man erects tribunal. It constantly publishes pursueth. There are arrows which drink itself. Its sword is always naked. Its up the spirit. The transgressor may balance is always raised. It “bringeth vaunt boldly; he may be the object of the wheel over the wicked.” It is pal- general envy ; all may flatter him; yet pable through all its workings and all shall he be the drift of an inward temits checks. It imposes itself with pageant pest, the wreck of the soul's own sea. and state. It cries aloud. Yet in all * All darkness is hid in his secret places." this apparatus there is the effort of a con- “ In the fulness of his sufficiency he is scious feebleness. It is display to make in straits.” To cause the mind to punish up the want of power. It rebounds to itself, to work a retribution out of ourits own strokes. It bends under its own selves, to secure it by fixed nature, to in. burdens. There is an unceasing con- flict it by inflexible necessity, to convert fession of its impotence. There is per- the capacity of sin into the instrument petual of suspicion and self-distrust. of suffering, is the prerogative of divine Little can it punish. Little can it pre- rule. It is unlike any other, though invent, Its inefficiency is in a close pro- ferior jurisdiction may be helped by this portion to its external magnificence. But its conduct. The feelings which it the dominion of the Most High moves in awakens may subserve far lower admia far different course. « The law of the nistrations. In the prison-house of earth Lord is perfect.” It seeks and needs no there may be mental anguish : but man badge and observance. It disdains mi. there trembles under the original liabinistry and instrument. Its sword is lity. He agonizes in his troubled thoughts 6 bathed in heaven.” Its balance is as a subject of God. There is, indeed, that in which the hills are weighed. It the sense of social guilt, unworthiness, is noiseless and unseen in its mechanism. and shame; but unless he had first felt It has access to mind. Its power is in that he was the subject of God, little had conscience. By inscrutable influences it his mind suffered for anything he had enforces itselt. There can be no par
done as the subject of man. It is in tiality, no indecision, no resistance. It this infinite ease, and repose, and omnicannot be turned aside,—warped by in- presence, of the “ kingdom which ruleth dulgence, or intimidated by danger. Vain over all,” that we learn its unparalleled is every hope to elude and defeat it. It and inimitable excellence. It is uni. allows no difficulty. Silent as time, formly, and it is universally, administraserene as a star, it keeps its way. (be. tive and executing. “ There is no darkdience is attended by happiness, trans- ness where the workers of iniquity may gression by woe. So linked together are
hide themselves.” Its design is direct, offence and suffering, that the “tor- and its effects sure.
This is true mamentors are ever waiting and ever ready jesty! (Page 89.)
The important and strongly-marked distinction between the term law as used in its subordinate, and in its proper, sense, is well stated. We quote it, both as teaching some valuable lessons, and as exposing, and thus destroying, some false and mischievous analogies.
We are wont to speak of certain laws will freeze or evaporate, and when metals as subsisting in physics. We tell of the will fuse or volatilize; when bodies will laws of matter and of mind; the laws of become precipitates, and atoms crystals. mechanism, electricity, and heat ; the Yet all these phenomena reveal no law : laws of relation, of suggestive thought, at most are they seen in obedience to of reasoning judgment. Such a use of one. They prove, in Aristotelian phrase, language is arbitrary and unjust. In a universal. They lie within uninterthese instances we suppose and can rupted experience. Their sequence has conceive no proper rule. We understand never been known or reported to fail. these things, they being found in given But when we speak of law in reference to states, conditions, successions. We know a responsible agent, the application is what are electrical affinities, and that strictly correct. It is the only use which they invariably act : we know when water is proper and true.
At best is it, in any other employment, an accommodated tions must be, therefore, very remote and term. In this, it stands up to the idea. strained. They involve perfectly different It promises authority rather than power. subjects of influence. They oppose to It asserts its right over intelligent nature. each other the relations which are borne It is a grand exhibition of moral prin- towards those subjects. They respecciples. It binds all in justice; but that tively present uninformed and irresponjustice addresses all in inducements. A sible matter, impelled by a foreign and law, whatever it be, which moves matter, resistless will of pleasure, and rational can never describe a law which operates and amenable mind, governed by an in
dependent but legislative will of right. Any parallelism between material ne
(Page 90.) cessary effects and moral contingent ac
And yet, we would scarcely say that the subordinate use of the term is
Few languages are so copious as to have a separate word for every aspect of the same grand idea. Only let the primary and subordinate notions be preserved in their proper distinctness, and no great mischief will be done : perhaps some good will result. These unalterable sequences proceed from power not only always acting in the same manner, but doing so in adherence to a system laid down previously in infinite wisdom, by Him who had the right thus-shall we say ?—to prescribe to himself his own modes of operation. The term, thus employed, conveys the notion of a system, according to which dominion is exercised, and to the effects of which we may always point in illustration of the inexpressible advantage issuing from successfully-administered rule, among whatever existences may be its subjects. Order, beauty, usefulness, shine throughout creation with dazzling splendour. Might we say that all this is the result of law obeyed ? God undeviatingly observes his own rules. It requires no other imagination than that which the Scriptures awaken when they describe the outgoings of the morning and evening as rejoicing, the little hills as rejoicing on every side, and the valleys as shouting and singing for joy,to conceive of all nature, masses and atoms, living and unliving, as obedient to Him whose throne is heaven, whose footstool is earth, and who sways the sceptre of the universe. Most glowing and animating is that psalm in which all the subjects of this great King are invoked to proclaim and celebrate his greatness. “ Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps : fire and hail ; snow and vapours; stormy wind, fulfilling his word !" And such loveliness and harmony, such enjoyment and gladness, such joy and praise would there be throughout the wide domain of created intelligence, were all the subjects of law as issued to them, submissively engaged in a fulfilling his word.” It is thus shown what would be the blessedness of the reign of obeyed law. Let the admirer of creation remember, that it is thus worthy of his admiration because the will of God is done throughout; and if he be a patriot and philanthropist, and would promote his own well-being, and the well-being of his country, and of mankind, let him obey, and seek to bring others to obey, that divinelypromulgated law, which, because expressing the will of God, the holy, and just, and good, is itself holy, and just, and good. Let the Christian saint, who desires heaven, desire it yet more intensely, desire it chiefly, because the will of God is done there ; and let him seek for heaven on earth, by submissive obedience to the law of God's will while he dwells there. For ourselves, we cannot help approving, and even admiring, the term generally appropriated to the great classifications of nature for the purposes of science. There is the kingdom of minerals, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom. They are the royal portions of that great empire whose Sovereign is God, whose will is done, and whose name ought to be hallowed, in them all.
We are thus almost naturally led to give the following extracts, as just in sentiment as they are beautiful in expression. They especially deserve attention at the present day, when so many mischievous theories on the subject are put forth by a plausibly-disguised but real infidelity :
We cannot be too strongly impressed benign must be the universal regulation, with the goodness or benevolence of the all whose acquirements, learning, condivine law. Right and good are corre- sequences, motives, aims, are fulfilled by lative ideas; but we are not equally love! And the same reflections are apaffected by them. More spontaneously propriate to the law which respects the can we conclude that all good is right, claims of Deity. (Page 94.) than that all right is good. And we more The celebration of Him who made slowly confess the good of law, because heaven and earth, the sea, and all that we more commonly regard law itself as in them is, must elevate the mind torestraint rather than as protection. We wards him, purify its feelings, and calm forget that it is far more restraint upon its cares ; will bring a respite from laothers than upon ourselves, and that our bour aud a solace to grief; tends to awa. protection is in that restraint. Every in- ken the soul to its true portion and rest. terdict is upon all, and each one obtains The reversal of these rules, or their the benefit. Every obligation binds the mere absence, would: draw down upon whole race to the security and welfare of us evils which it appals the heart to forethe individual. The best description of shadow. Anarchy would rage with unliberty is, protection from wrong. And appeasable malignity. The contest would if we inspect the great social law, what not be of interest, but of listed minds. is it but a fence and safeguard thrown It would be the unrestrained grapple of around our dearest, most precious in- spirits. Chaos has been painted to us terests ? Its heed holds back that which by poetry : however wild, it works itself receives every denouncement, when we to quiescence, and its fury stills. Not call it lawless. Its observance defends such the end of the intellectual elements the allegiance of our household, the when in their strife and uproar. They sanctity of our life, the legitimacy of cannot rock themselves to peace. Theirs our offspring, the possession of our store, is ever-rising surge. Where all power the reputation of our character, even to is ill, and all motive is selfishness, there the proscription, and to the driving from can be no controlling principle, no atthe heart, of any secret wish that might tempering pause. That sea, self-wrought, seek to injure us. It sets a seal upon cannot rest. There is no voice to bid its all. Our forbearance to aggrieve others, proud waves stay! Let us honour law which must be harmful to oneself, is re- as the crowning blessing of blessings. paid by forbidding any grievance against Let us remember that intellectual creaour welfare from the millions upon mils tureship without it is as inconceivable as lions who might otherwise inflict it. The it would be insupportable. Let us acduty which every man owes to love us as knowledge it as the most sublime of himself, is a blessed and rich return of ideas, the true exponent of happiness, our duty thus ourselves to love every the proper basis of dignity, the exclus
The rule commands and obliges sive shield of freedom, the pure fountain every man to love me, to uphold me,- of good-will,-inaugurating truth in its invests him as my brother, authorizes state, decking benevolence in its majesty, him as my keeper, arms him as my de- lifting right to its throne, and then profender, pledges him as my surety, adorns claiming with imperial authority that all him as my example, couples him as my this is but God, and that, therefore, there co-heir. It is the law of love. It is is none good but one, and that is God. the perfect commutative justice. How
(Page 96.) The writer of this splendid but most truthful passage will never censure us for expressing our fear of danger, when we find notions seeking to prevail, which, if not in the mind of their authors, yet in the form of their enunciation, seem, at least, if not to oppose liberty to law, yet to dissociate the one from the other. The admirers and champions of liberty should always so order their speech, that no mistake can arise, and that their scholars should not infer, but most evidently hear, that the liberty advo