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thought to carry matters too far, by him who is himself a Methodist in the estima tion of those below him; and he in his turn extends this censure to the poor evangelical professor, who stands one degree higher in the mysterious scale. It would appear, therefore, that Methodism is a discovery not possessing within itself any specific principles, but constituted by the exuberance of symptoms in themselves innocuous, and sometimes praiseworthy; just as in the body corporate, a man may be in an extremely dangerous state, whose only disorder is too high a flow of health. And, perhaps, from this analysis, we may arrive at the true nature of the malady; for as there seems to be a regular ascending gradation in this world, we may fairly conjecture that scale is continued in the next, and that the glorified spirits and angels would be regarded as Methodists by those infected by the disorder in its most virulent form here, if the veil which separates the two worlds were once removed. This points out at once the danger and the seat of the disease, but its remedy still remains a secret," &c. P. 291, 292. vol. i.
the kindred elements of spiritual truth from the charge of enthu siasm, and to recommend them by the means of an agreeable history to the approbation of those who are prejudiced against the whole system, when set before them in plain and unvarnished statement. Now, we will not deny that a man of powerful original talents, and a capacity for elegant writing, may succeed in producing something on this plan, which may be acceptable even to the enemies of spiritual religion; but then the warm reception given to him will be occasioned, not by the principles of his work, but by the ability with which they are il lustrated, and the interesting cha racter of the narration with which they are linked. For the sake of these, the Methodism of the work may be tolerated; and the author will be mortified to find that he and his work are praised at the expense, or in the place of, those great truths and principles which it is his avowed aim to illustrate and to recommend. In the case of an author, whose talents are not of the highest order, and whose narrative cannot be characterized as particularly interesting, there is the absence of those accompaniments which may insure reception to a work on the plan we have supposed; and what remains to interest or to affect? There remains, it is true, all that which gives to religion its real value, and on which the hopes of a fallen creature can with safety be founded. There remain the "first principles of the oracles of God,” the high discoveries of the Gospel revelation, the truths which angels admire, and which martyrs at the stake have found to be their only consolation. There remain the principles which form the human character to the resemblance of
We have no doubt of the excel. lent motives which influenced the author in the publication of this work, but we question the prudence and the practicability of the attempt which he has made. What is the nature and character of the attempt? It is neither more nor less than to teach the higher principles and lessons of evangelical Christianity under the guise of a tale, "founded on facts" no doubt, but mixed up with a variety of ingredients, the result of fancy and imagination alone. We have no objection to such works as " Discipline," or " Display," or "the Antidote," or even to "Calebs ;" and we shall always feel gratified in introducing to the favourable notice of our readers such works as combine innocent amusement with moral and religious instruction. But the object of "No Enthusiasm" seems to be of a bolder cast than this. Its aim is to vindicate the great doctrine of regeneration, and
*The author seems to use this term as the same with corporeal. The etymology is fair, though the application is rather unusual.
God, and which give to society all that is really valuable in the charms of moral loveliness. And is it then forgotten that all this, however valuable in itself, has no attractions for the class of readers whom we suppose to come in contact with it, and that the attempt to take them by surprise, as it were, and to introduce them by a sort of coup de main into the very midst of the sacred penetralia, will, unless admirably well sustained, rather increase the disgust than diminish it? There are readers, it is true, who will bear with the poverty of the tale, for the sake of the valuable truths with which it is associated, but these are the very readers for whom such compositions are not designed. Such readers would have far greater pleasure in the perusal of a plain and simple statement of Scriptural principles, while readers of a different class are not so silly as to allow themselves to be wheedled or cajoled into the belief of what they call Methodistical jargon. In our review of Happi. ness, we remonstrated against the notion of teaching the system of divinity under the guise of a "tale;" and now we may remonstrate equal ly against the attempt to teach the very highest lessons of spiritual religion under the same guise. The attempt is too bold for an author of second rate talents. We might trust it in the hands of such a writer as More, and yet she has not ventured upon it. The very utmost she has ever attempted is the exhibition of character founded on Christian principles, and it is still doubtful how far even she has been successful in her aims. Calebs has, no doubt, been read and admired by readers of every name and class; and yet we question much if it has been, in any great number of instances, the means of converting men to the love and to the reception of evangelical truth.
There is a character of sacredness attached to the doctrines of grace, (the doctrine of conversion, for example, or the influence of the Holy Spirit,) which disdains, as mean and unworthy of them, an alliance with the stories of youth and of love. The elements, like the iron and the clay in Nebuchadnezzar's image, will not coalesce. They want the attracting principle. An apostle has given us a solemn warning against the danger of building on the "sure foundation," with such base materials as those of "wood, hay, and stubble," and we much fear that the caveat has not been duly attended to by those who, with the very best intentions, have attempted an unseemly alliance between the "altars of Israel" and the "bells and pomegranates" of Egypt and Arabia. If narration is to be employed, as it ought certainly to be, as the vehicle of truth to such as throw aside every thing else as uninteresting, then let us have recourse to the biographies of those great and good men who have adorned" by the fruits of righteousness" the doctrine of grace. Of such biographies we have now a goodly number, and we cordially long for an accession to the store.
Independently of our objections to the nature of the attempt which the author of this work has made, we have some solid objections to certain parts of the work itself. We mean not to speak so much of the intellectual character of the piece, farther than to say, what indeed we hinted above, that there is nothing in the tale that is particu larly interesting. The young man may be very amiable and very good, and his history may be interesting to his friends, but he is only one of many. There is nothing either in his previous character as a young man, or in his ulterior character as a confirmed Christian, that is at all striking. There is nothing un
common in the indolent prodigality of the old father; nor, alas! in the fraud and hypocrisy of the steward. There is nothing uncommon in the characters either of Sturdy or of Ratcliffe; nor in the circumstances of the balls and suppers in which the hero joins; nor in the impression which Jane Ratcliffe's charms made on his susceptible heart. Nor is there, we trust, any thing uncommon in the impression which Mr. Wilson's preaching seems to have made upon his mind. The instances of such a change may be few-lamentably few-but the circumstances attending it are not so extraordinary as to require public fame to resound them. Nor in the future character and history of Falkland, does there appear any thing of such a marked character as to affect deeply the soul-to touch its secret strings, or to harrow up its feelings. If the history be all real, the case cannot be altered; but, then, why make it the subject of publication at all? If the history be, as we suppose, only "founded on" facts, then why not make the facts more numerous and more interesting? Why not exhibit the hero under circumstances that are calculated to excite and to cherish a deeper interest in his be half? Why are not his talents more profound? his taste more refined? his heart more tenderly alive to the amiable and the lovely? his very appearance more striking and engaging? If the author wished, as we suppose he wished, to gain access to a circle of readers net usually accessible in the ordinary way of Christian address or instruction, we might say that he has egregiously failed in the exhibition of such a hero as Falkland.
the strongest similes which creation or human language can afford, are applied;-if the exhibition of such a portrait was designed, as we suppose, then most assuredly our author should have been peculiarly careful to preserve the consistency and uniformity of the exhibition. Now, we might say, in the language of the painter, that his portrait wants keeping. We have already adverted to the " eventful history" at Tewkesbury; a history which does not exalt the character of Falkland as a Christian. We might now advert to another particular in his conduct which we cannot cordially approve. We mean his be haviour to the daughter of Ratcliffe, his counsellor and friend. That young lady, in whom the reader might feel interested, did by her graces and her charms, make a very deep impression on the mind of Falkland; and if, as appears to have been the case, the mutual impression amounted to something like an engagement between the parties, the breaking of such engagement, even though only half formed, was certainly a matter of deep and serious moment. But even setting aside the idea of engagement altogether, we do think that Falkland was by far too precipitate in breaking up his connection with the family of Ratcliffe, and particularly his growing attachment to one of its members. No doubt the character of the family was decidedly worldly; and an union between vital Christianity and the vanities of the world can never be effected on suitable principles. Still there are certain duties which Christians owe even to the world; and Falkland should have used some means to gain over to his views, those in whom he could not fail to experience a deep interest. That these means would have been successful, we do not say, but no evil could result from the prudent and judi
Farther, if a correct portrait of a real Christian,-a man who has been renewed in the spirit of his mind; who has passed through that great change, to represent which
cious application of them. Falkland should not have been the first to break off the connection, and thus to expose himself to the charge of fickleness and caprice. We do not say that he was justly charge able with these faults, for we are satisfied that this conduct was dictated by conscientious principle. Still we would have been better pleased had he left matters to take their regular course; had he avowed his sentiments along with the reasons why he adopted them, and availed himself of the advantages which he possessed to gain over others to his views. In this way, one of two things must have been the issue, either he must have been made the instrument of spiritual good to those in whom he was most deeply interested, at least to one of them; or, if all his efforts failed, he must at length have been necessarily compelled to decline an union which could not be formed on suit able principles. As the case stands, there appears in his character an over-readiness to form or to break connections without adverting to the consequences that might ensue. Christians should, above all things, cultivate consistency of character; and study, in the language of in, spiration, "To walk in wisdom to wards them that are without."
exhibition of the melancholy influ ence which political pursuits and speculations have in counteracting the native power of decidedly Christ ian principles. Clementson was a young lawyer of great talents and of most commanding eloquence. His principles were formed in the best school; he had written in defence of Christianity and its leading doctrines with ability rarely excelled; and his knowledge and experience were of the greatest value to Falkland at the first opening of his mind to the genuine impressions of truth. In the estimation of those who knew him best, he was considered as not only a Christian, but as one of no ordinary attainments; and his accession to the cause of evangelical truth was hailed with delight by its friends. Whether or not the truths which he professed ever really affected his heart, may be questioned; but there can be no doubt that truth, even in its highest and most spiritual character, may gain on the understanding, and powerfully interest the affections, even while it cannot be considered as cordially embraced, and is not fully ingrafted into the life. Certain it is, that the mind of this man was haunted by the dreams of worldly ambition. He embarked on the troubled ocean of this world's politics. He attached himself to a certain political party; came into parliament under their wing; entered with keenness into their favourite plans; and by his eloquence contributed powerfully to their advancement in the scale. A certain personage, whom our author calls the Duke of Cleveland, takes him under his patronage; and when this said Duke becomes prime minister of Great Britain, the agent by whose instrumentality he had been pushed forward into power, naturally and reasonably looked for some honourable remuneration.Whether the premier ever designed
While we hesitate to characterize the history of Falkland as deeply interesting, we have no hesitation in applying the designation to the character and history of Edward Clementson, one of the most valued friends of our hero. The account given of this singular character is no doubt only an episode, but it does possess in our estimation more real value than all the rest of the work put together, and the execution is distinguished both by talent and by taste. The design of the author in dwelling at full length on the history of this man, seems to have been to afford a practical
to bestow any substantial favour upon Clemenston, is doubtful; but certain it is, that when the poor man was labouring under a consumptive disorder, and in the last stage of his mortal existence, appeal was made in vain to the justice and the feeling of the great man. Self-interest was the sove reign principle; and all the better feelings of gratitude and affection were sacrificed at its shrine.
The effect of political connections and pursuits in deadening moral feeling, and leading away from conscience and from God, is strikingly pourtrayed by our author in the case of this man. Ambition seemed to gain the ascendency over every other principle. All his thoughts ran in the channel of political party; and all his wishes seemed to centre on the attainment of place. The higher and purer claims of that religion which he professed, and vindicated, and praised, were lost sight of; and its practical influence on his life and conduct was but dimly, if at all perceptible. The book of God was allowed to lie neglected; and his reading seems to have been confined to the perusal of the political pamphlets of the day. The offices of piety were discontinued, while the spirit seemed to evaporate under the pressure of the world and its attractions. Falkland was grieved to mark the religious declension of his friend; and his feelings grew in acuteness as his friend, labouring under a hopeless disease, approach ed the limits of his mortal existence. He availed himself of all the resources which judgment, and friendship, and Christian feeling could provide, with the view of drawing his attention to the things which belonged to his everlasting welfare. His first effort was to disengage him from the trammels of worldly policy and ambition, and to make him" cease from man,"
whose unsteadiness and selfishness he was taught by dear bought experience to acknowledge. For some time his efforts to gain this end were fruitless; and it was not without a most painful struggle that the mind of his dying friend was withdrawn from the frippery of the court, and the golden dreams of the cabinet, to those more endurable riches and honours to which the faith of Jesus invites. At length, his persevering and truly Christian ef forts are crowned with success, and he has the satisfaction of contemplating in the latter days of his friend, the triumphs of faith and of hope. The principles of his better days returned with a new and resistless energy. His affections, withdrawn from time and its vanities, were elevated to things above, and he fell asleep in the well-grounded expectation of being raised again to a life of im mortality and of bliss ineffable.
The whole history of this man is well told. The impression which it leaves on the mind is strong and salutary. It is no visionary representation; but the exact copy of what is not unfrequently exhibited on the broad arena of life. Conscience is often sacrificed on the altar of worldly and crooked policy. The race of ambition is preferred to the race of faith and of Christian enterprise. Men professing godliness often enter themselves into unseemly alliances with the determined enemies of all that is holy; and a single point of approximation will sometimes effect an union and a co-operation which the genius of Christian love has often attempted in vain. Similarity in political opinion makes atonement, or sug gests apologies at least, for the most glaring infidelity in principle, and the most revolting profligacy of manners. The violence of political speculation leaves no room for God either in the thoughts or in the habits of men. Religion appears a