« VorigeDoorgaan »
duced in the minds of many Calvinists a hor- | It is plain, therefore, that when, in after years, ror of Wesleyan theology, as a heresy which it the Conference adopted the admiuistration of was a bounden duty to contend against with all the sacraments in the societies generally, they earnestness. But this, after a time, subsided; did not introduce a new principle, but simply car. and in subsequent visits to Scotland, Mr Wes- ried out a principle laid down by their founder, ley was favourably received; at Perth the free- just as, we have no doubt, he would have done, dom of the city was conferred upon him. We had he lived to their day, and been placed in believe, however, that, on the whole, Scotland their circumstances. has not proved as congenial or productive a The missionary operations of Wesleyan-Mefield for Wesleyan effort as the southern part thodism commenced, properly speaking, at the of the kingdom, although there are several Leeds Conference, 1769, when, on an occasion thousands of attached members in the societies already noticed, Mr Wesley asked, “ Who will there. It would lead us from our present pur- go to help our brethren in America ?" and pose to enter upon any investigation of the pro- Messrs Boardman and Pillmoor responded to bable causes to which this may be attributed. the call. The cause of Wesleyan missions,
To Irish Methodism belongs the distinction however, received its great impulse through the of having sown that seed which has grown up devoted, unwearying, and self-sacrificing labours into the great tree that now extends its branches of Dr Coke, a clergymen of the Church of Engso widely over America. Philip Embury, a land, who attached himself to Mr Wesley as
11 local preacher from Ireland, having settled in a son in the Gospel.” As we shall again ad. New York, began to preach there, and, in 1766, vert to the present state of the missions, it may succeeded in forming a society. Other Wes- be enough that we should here indicate their leyan emigrants from England and Ireland fol. progress as exhibited in a brief extract from i lowed, and pursued a similar course. In 1769, Dr Alder's work on Wesleyan Missions” (as the Conference sent out two of its preachers, they were in 1842) :Messrs Boardman and Pillmoor, to take charge In addition to the places previously occupied in of the societies. From this time the work pro- America and the West Indies, missionary operations ceeded with great rapidity, the plan of itine were commenced on the continent of Europe as rancy being found especially adapted to the early as the year 1791, on the African continent in wide-spread settlements of a new country. The 1711, and in Asia during the year 1814.
asia was first visited by a Wesleyan missionary in the progress has up to the present been steady; the
course of the following year; and Polynesia, where Methodists have become, as to numbers, the the word of the Lord has been so eminently glorified, leading religious body of the Union; and the in 1822. It will be seen from this statement, that the annual increase is very great. After the ter- field in which the labourers of this society are einmination of the war of independence, Mr Wes- ployed, is emphatically THE WORLD. On the shores ley constituted the American societies into a
of Sweden and the Upper Alps; at Gibraltar and Church, having within itself all the ordinances and on the Gold Coast; at the Cape of Storms; in
Malta; on the banks of the Gambia, at Sierre Leone, of Christianity. Of his right as a presbyter to Ceylon, and on the shores of Southern India; amongst ordain to the full work of the ministry (includ- the colonists and aboriginal tribes of Australia; in ing, of course, the administration of baptism New Zealand, the Friendly Islands, and Fugee; on and the Lord's supper), he entertained no
the islands of the Western as well as the Southern doubt. The “apostolical succession” he re.
Hemisphere; and from the Gulf of St Lawrence to garded as a fable that no man ever did or could ary Society are found. To all these places, to a por
the far West, the agents of the Wesleyan Mission- | prove. “ If any one is minded,” said he, “to tion of the people by whom they are inhabiteu, to dispute concerning diocesan Episcopacy, he man in all these regions, the British Conference has may dispute; but I have better work.” Again : sent the Gospel of salvation, since the question was “ Lord King's “ Account of the Primitive asked, in 1769, “ Who will go to help our brethren in
America ?" Church' convinced me, many years ago,
that bishops and presbyters are the same order, and It was upon the 2d of March 1791-three consequently have the same right to ordain.” years after the death of his brother CharlesUnquestionably he regarded all those whom he that John Wesley rested from all bis labours, had set apart to the work of the ministry as duly leaving impressed upon the memory and hearts ordained, although, in England, he restrained of his followers the sentiment to which, in his them from administering the sacraments, “ not last hours, he gave frequent utterance—“ The only for peace' sake," as his motives were ex best of all is, God is with us!” Many years preplained by himself, “ but because I was deter- viously he had considered the importance of mined, as little as possible, to violate the estab- making provision for the stability and governlished order of the National Church to which ment of the Connexion after his removal; and I belonged.” He removed this restraint, how- in 1784, the desired settlement was effected by ever, in the cases of America and Scotland; in the enrolment in Chancery of a legal instruthe former, because the American Methodists ment, called “A Deed of Declaration," in could no longer remain a society attached to a which one hundred preachers, mentioned by colonial Establishment which had then ceased name, were declared to be “the Conference of to exist; and in the latter, because the closing the people called Methodists." By means of il of the English Establishment did not reach to it. this deed a legal description was given to the
CHEAP PUBLICATION SCHEME.
John Knox's Select Practical Works-Rutherford's Trial
term “ Conference," and the settlement of the
CHEAP PUBLICATION SCHEME. chapels on trustees was provided for; so that the appointment of preachers to officiate in them should be vested in the Conference, as it
and Triumph of Faith-- Traill's Sermons--Dickson's
Practical Writings-Fleming's Fulfilling of the Scriphad heretofore been in Mr Wesley. The deed also declares how the succession and the iden- Tais is one of the marvels of a marvellous age. Six
tures—Memoirs of Mrs Veitch, Mr Hog, &c., &c. tity of the Yearly Conference is to be continued, volumes of the richest practical divinity, by men and contains various practical regulations. The wisdom of this deed has been tested and proved known to all Christendom, and containing eighteen in many instances. Various attempts have
hundred pages of letterpress, for six shillir.is! been made to set it aside; but its validity has
It is an old saying, that a bad or stupid book is been confirmed by the highest judicial autho- dear at any price; and, tried by this rule, there are rities. If there be any provision in it to which many of the cheap publications of our day which loyai adherents to Methodism object, it is that those who purchase will find dear enough. We heard which forbids the appointment of a minister to lately of a young man who had become a subscriber the same chapel for more than three succes
to a cheap series of tracts published at London, but sive years, and thus binds the itinerant plan in who, in his experience, found them very dear. He perpetuity on the Connexion. Some think that was the son of respectable parents, and had been it would have been better if more liberty had well trained; but the weekly reading of these tracts, been allowed in this matter; but, as a whole, in which violence was offered to all the sanctions the deed has proved of the utmost importance of religion, and sometimes even to the decencies of and practical worth.
morality, was his ruin. His eye fell so often upon It may be in place to give here a statement oaths, that the dislike, or even horror, with which which will show the progress of the body since he had been taught, both by his parents and his the death of the founder. In 1791, when Mr conscience, to regard them, was soon blunted; and Wesley died, the numberof circuits in the United shortly he even began to swear a little for himself, till, Kingdom was one hundred and fifteen. The after a few months, swearing became a habit, and a present number is four hundred and eighty-two. habit so strong that he could scarce wish a friend The number of members in connection with his well without an oath. He read in another tract a societies in Europe, America, and the West very pleasant story of Continental village life, in Indies, was eighty thousand. At the last Con- which the Sabbath was introduced as the most deference the numbers were, in Great Britain, lightful day of all the week, because on it the vilthree hundred aud forty thonsand seven hun: | lagers had their picnics and parties, and excurdred and seventy-eight; in Ireland, twenty- sions on foot, or perhaps by railway, and, in the seven thousand nine hundred and twenty-six; evening, dances on the green.
It seemed all so and on the foreign mission stations, ninety- cheerful and inviting, that he thought he might do nine thousand six hundred and nine; making worse than join a company of friends who spent the total of members under the care of the their Sabbaths much after the same fashion; and British and Irish Conferences, four hundred accordingly he left off attending church, and on and sixty-eight thousand threo hundred and one day took a sail down the river, and on another thirteen—a total which is largely exceeded ran out by rail to Windsor or down to Brighton, by the number of Methodists in America, and coming home, almost always half-tipsy, by the last which, of course, does not include the members train. His parents saw the sad change, and, being of the different bodies that, from time to time, godly people, were much grieved. But he “would seceded from the Old Connexion. The entire none of their reproofs;" and because they sought number of preachers then was three hundred to advise and sometimes restrain him, he left their and twelve; the present number of ministers house, and went into lodgings, with one of his Saband preachers on trial, connected with the bath-desecrating companions. By him he was furBritish and Irish Confi rences, is one thousand ther corrupted-initiated, indeed, into all manner of six hundred and eighty-five. Such has been vice; and, as the consequence of all, he-the once the progress of Wesleyan-Methodism during well-principled and promising youth—is now a convict that first century of its existence which, in at a penal settlement. He became dishonest was 1639, was celebrated so remarkably by special detected and banished. His father is since dead, devotional exercises, and by a liberality of spe. and his poor mother was, at the time when the sad cial eontribution (the Centenary Fund having story was told us—three months ago—not expected nearly amounted to a quarter of a million to survive him long. In all probability she, too, is by sterling), which we may, perhaps, be permitted this time bowed down to the grave. And all this to say, all things considered, was without pre- owing, in the first instance, to these cheap tracts. cedent, and would have been without parallel, Only a penny a-week they were, but surely they were but for the late noble munificence of the Free too dear. The honesty, the happiness, the peace, the Church of Scotland.
character of a young man ruined; his immortal soul, A summary of the doctrines believed and if God prevent not, lost; and the grey hairs of his taught by the Wesleyans, and some account parents brought down with sorrow to the graveof their peculiar religious services, will form neither a penny nor a world would be an equivalent the subject for our next paper.
There are other cheap publications not so out of scriptural and experimental illustration-a holy rageous, nor, in their effects, so certainly or speedily earnestness of application and appeal, which need ruinous, but still often much too dear. We refer to not fear comparison with the same features of the those which, although moral enough in their charac- practical divinity of any Church, or of any age. ter, at least, containing nothing positively immoral or One cannot but feel, while reading any one of these offensive, do yet studiously exclude from their pages volumes, that he is in the hands of a master-of a all reference to the requirements and advantages of man who knows thoroughly of what he is speakingreligion. They give sketches of history, interesting who is acquainted with the truth of God in all its in their way, and faithful; but it is history with length and breadth, and who knows also the human out God-without any, even the slightest, reference heart, as far as man can know it, in the depths of its to the workings of that Providence by which all its deceitfulness; and the effect on the reader, if he events are ordered and arranged. Personal narratives possess even ordinary natural feeling and susceptialso are given; but they contain experiences altoge-bility, cannot fail of being impressive. Prefixed to ther destitute of Christianity, and without any hint each volume is a memoir of the author, by the editor of the evils incident to its absence. Many pleasant of the series. These memoirs enhance not a little stories also have we read in their pages-stories the value of the works. They are written with great portraying sometimes the highest earthly happi- piquancy and vigour, and give the reader a vivid idea ness, and sometimes the deepest affliction-and it both of the men whose lives they sketch, and of the would be untrue to deny that we have often been times in which they lived, and by which their chadelighted with them, often saddened, often, it may racters and currents of thought were so largely be, improved; but still they are stories in the hap-moulded. piness of which religion is sedulously prevented from having any share, and the afflictions of which religion is never called in to soothe or to sustain. They
THE HOPE OF THE WICKED HOPELESS. are written, in fact, not only as if religion were not
It is a strange impudence for men to “ trust and the highest concernment of man, but as if there were hope in God,"who are in perfect hostility against him. no such thing as religion at all. Now, while we
Bold fellows go through dangers here, but it will not are no advocates of that sentimental piety which, be so hereafter. “ They turn to me the back, and not in writing a history, would superinduce a sermon at
the face; yet in their trouble they say, Arise and save every second sentence, or as, in some instances we
us.” They do it as confidently as if they never had have seen, would, in writing travels, intersperse every page with hymns, it is, at the same time, clear that despised God; but they mistake the matter—it is not
“Go and cry," says he, “ to the gods whom ye an entire and systematic exclusion of all reference to
have chosen." the things of God and of eternity from such publi- catch hold of the mercy of God; but from that their
When men come to die, then they cations is fraught, to the reader, with effects most filthy hands are beat off; there is no help for them deadening and destructive. A man who, by regularly, there, and so they fall down to the pit. A holy fear perusing such publications, sees God put out of
of God, and a happy hope in him, are commonly his own world, will not long seek to have him in linked together. Behold the eye of the Lord is upon his own heart. Indeed, it is to be feared that one
thern that fear him-upon them that hope in his !! great cause of the spiritual apathy by which the masses in our day are characterized is just the vast
mercy.--Archbishop Leighton. extent to which this worldly and godless literature has been carried on and encouraged. And with
THE ONE LEAF. such an issue the “cheapest” literature is surely too dear.
THERE was once a caravan crossing, I think, to the
north of India, and numbering in its company a godly It is a pleasant thing to find, however, that Chris
and devout missionary. As it passed along, a poor tian enterprise is now being stirred up to fight the old man was overcome by the heat and labours of the enemy in this matter with his own weapons; and journey, and, sinking down, was left to perish on the that magazines, tracts, and publication schemes, road. The missionary saw him, and, kneeling down conducted on really sound and Christian principles, at his side, when the rest had passed along, whisare so numerous, and so fully qualified, both in talent pered into his ear,“ Brother, what is your hope :*
The dying man raised himself a little to reply, and and cheapness, to obtain and preserve popular favour
with a great effort succeeded in answering, “ The and support.
blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin !" and The scheme named at the head of this short paper immediately expired with the effort. The missionwas, we believe, the first of the kind which was ary was greatly astonished at the answer, and, in started, and is a truly admirable and deserving one.
the calm and peaceful appearance of the man, he
felt assured he had died in Christ. We have spent portions of many Sabbath evenings where," he thought,
“could this man, seemingly very pleasantly, and we trust profitably, in reading a Heathen, have got this hope ?" And as he thought several of the works which have been issued under of it, he observed a piece of paper grasped tightly in its auspices. They are not void of denominational the hand of the corpse, which he succeeded in getting peculiarities, but the great burden of their thought out. What do you think was his surprise and delight and teaching is Christ. They are evidently the containing the lst chapter of the First Epistle of
when he found it was a single leaf of the Bible, productions of men of masculino minds, and deal John, in which these words occur? of divine truth with a strength and spirituality of the man had found the Gospel.-Children's Missionthought - a vigorousness of expression - a power l ary Newspaper.
On that page
THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.
THE UNBELIEVER IN A STATE OF CONDEMNATION,
BY THE LATE HENRY DUNCAN, D.D., MINISTER AT RUTHWELL.
" He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that I that all have sinned.”-Rom. v. 12. And again :
believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not “ We were by nature children of wrath, even as believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
others.”—Eph. ii. 3. More frequently, how-Jonn iii. 18.
ever, this doctrine appears in a somewhat difThis is a part of the remarkable conversation ferent form, as connected with the rejection of our Lord with Nicodemus, in which he of the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. teaches the necessity of being born again. In Thus it is said by our blessed Lord himself : the verses immediately preceding, he shows “ He that believeth not the Son shall not see how wonderfully God has manifested his love life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” to man in giving his only begotten Son for the John iii. 36. And still more expressly, persalvation of our fallen world; and then, in haps, in the language of the text : “ He that the words of the text, he proclaims the utter believeth not is condemned already.” condemnation of all who refuse to believe in
Observe, dear brethren, the force of these him. If we believe, then we are born of the solemn words : “ The wrath of God abideth on Spirit; that is to say, we become new creatures him!” and, “ condemned already!” It is not
-new as to our sentiments respecting our own on the last day that the condemnation of sincharacter and responsibilities-new as to our ners is suspended. It is not at the final judgviews of happiness and longings after immor- ment that the wrath of God is to reach them tality-new as to our knowledge of God and for the first time. In one sense, their conthe love which we ought to cherish toward demnation is already past. The wrath of God him. But there is another view which we are “abideth” on them. Even now they are in this required to take of our condition. We are to awful state. They are “ born in sin" and are consider not merely what is to become of us in “under condemnation.” Unless their natural the event of our believing in Christ, but what condition come to be altered by grace, the we are by nature, and what we must remain if wrath of God must continue to abide upon we do not believe. And this is the view pre- them, and they must finally “perish.” Now sented in that part of the text to which I pro- consider what these plain declarations imply. pose to direct your particular attention : “ He “Condemnation!” this is a dreadful word-even that believeth not is condemned already.” when it refers merely to the sentence of an
It would have been more pleasant to me to earthly judge. A condemned criminal is doomed, speak to you on the first part of the verse—on perhaps, to suffer an ignominious death. He is the happy state of those who believe; but I remanded to prison, that in his miserable cell have not come here to-day to speak smooth he may prepare for the gallows. Death stares things to you. I have come to arouse you; for him in the face, and its horrors are aggravated I fear many of you are yet in a state of con- by the thought of his guilt. Had he but foldemnation.
lowed some honest calling he might still have This implies two things :
been free and prosperous-happy amidst his 1st, That all who do not believe in Christ lie family and friends—useful, respected, honoured. under condemnation.
But now how different! Few, short, and miser2d, That through Christ alone may this con- able, are the days allotted to him. He must demnation be removed.
forfeit his life to the violated laws of his country, I. That all who do not believe in Christ lie and his memory shall rot. This is condemnaunder condemnation, is clearly proved by nu- tion! Can that man experience hope, or enjoymerous passages in Holy Writ. Sometimes it is ment, or ease ? Must not the very domesasserted generally as the condition of the whole tic affections which might have cheered his family of Adam, as when it is said : “ By heart become bitterness to him? His wife and one man sin entered into the world, and death children—where are they? What are they doby sin, and so death passed upon all men, for ing? Can they think kindly of him who has
No. 10. *
ruined them! Are they not cursing him in earth, earthy—all blighted, low and grovelling, their hearts ?—This is to be condemned by the as the very place of his banishment itself. law of man; but far, far more miserable is it But instead of exile, the sentence of con1 to be condemned by the law of God. Yes ! ye demnation may be death. And is there not
who neglect the great salvation, it is more here, too, a resemblance to the condemnation miserable far, if you but knew it. But you are under which the soul by nature lies. The senbold and senseless, and you hug the chains that tence pronounced on our first parents was : " In bind you down in the condemned cell of your the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely original and acquired estate. It is more miser-die.” Under this sentence all their children lie. able still, just because you know it not! Ah ! if Over every man death temporal asserts its right' you knew it, you would ask pardon of God, and to reign. The moment we are born we are on a you would obtain it. How awful, to see a man journey to the grave. We are mortal ourselves, wallowing in wretchedness, and turning every- and all are mortal around us. Mortal are the where for relief but in the right direction--every- objects we cherish-mortal the friends we where in rain! to see a man ready to perish love. Decay and death are written on everyamidst a raging flood, and recklessly turning thing that lives. The flowers bloom only to away from the hand that is stretched out for die. The trees spread their branches only to his deliverance ! And such is the state of fall beneath the tempest. The birds fail from misery in which those are “ already” sunk who the air, the beasts from the forest; and man, the are under spiritual condemnation-slaves of the lord of them all, “cometh forth as a flower, and world-slaves of their own passions--slaves of is cut down." Nay, “there is hope of a tree, Satan, and they know it not !-who, while they if it be cut down, that it will spront again, and join with their fellow-criminals in brutal mirth the tender branch thereof will not cease;" but and folly, hate and avoid those wlio would open lieth down, and riseth not; till the their eyes and bring them deliverance ! heavens be no more they shall not zwake nor
There are many points of resemblance be- be raised out of their sleep.” But what is temtween him who is condemned by an earthly, poral compared with eternal death? Under and him who is condemned by a heavenly this condemnation also man labours. His soul judge. If banishment be the lot of the one, survives his body; but it is only to suffer a banishment is also the lot of the other. The second and far more terrible death-a death man who is condemned by human laws was that lives, that“ abideth” like the curse. He is happy once. So was Adam in a state of inno cut off for ever from heaven--from the society
Paradise was his home-his Creator of the just made perfect, of the holy angels, of was his friend-within and around him all God the Father, Christ the Saviour, and the was beauty, and sunshine, and joy. But he re- IIoly Spirit the sanctifier. He is sentenced to belled-he was condemned—he was banished! a miserable existence among condemned spirits, Then what a change took place !-a change in “ where their worm dieth not, and their fire the dire effects of which all his posterity are never shall be quenched.” While they remain involved! Every impenitent sinner is to be re on earth, then, the condemned only await their garded as banished from the presence of God, final and appalling doom. They exist, indeed, his best, his only friend—banished from the but they exist in a prison-house. Their senbeauties and delights of Eden—banished to the tence hath gone forth. Every day, every hour, barren wilderness, where all is blighted with a is bringing them nearer and more near to final curse—where his focal is unblest-where hatred | judgment. Then how awful shall be the voice rages—where wickedness abounds-where the of Him who sitteth on the great white throne : heart is dark, the faculties enslaved, and he “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting himself “ sold under sin.” He labours, but it fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Ah!! is“ in the fire,” and in chains, without any pro- brethren, will not the misery of that sentence fit, any enjoyment, any hope. If he looks back be aggravated by the recollection of means neto a state of innocence, it is but to increase glected and grace abused? You might have despair. The way is guarded by a fiery sword. obtained heaven, but you have preferred earth, Paradise, if he conld regain it, would be no gar- The Father has called you—the Son has died for den of bliss to him; for his whole moral and the very chief of sinners—the Holy Spirit has spiritual nature has undergone a change, and offered you his aid- the ministers of the everconsequently its enjoyments would to him be lasting Gospel have been commissioned to invite weariness and pain. His affections are of the you“ without money and without price;" but all