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angels, which sufficiently accounts for their remarkable prostration."
* “ But these,” continued the other, “have had revelations, by the power of great faith, here to-night, in answer to prevailing and almost unceasing prayer, as great, comparatively speaking, as the divine ones. Friend! have you ever been converted ?” he suddenly asked.
“I trust I have,” answered Israel, in a modest tone.
“ Then you will understand what I mean,” he continued, “ when I say that the soul, convicted of its need of the application of the cleansing blood - and truly seeing itself, and also having a clearer vision than ever before of the pure and infinitely holy Jesus, might, under certain favorable physical circumstances, lose its power of self-control, and to appearance be
as dead. We have had a glorious meeting to-night, and Jesus has been right here in our midst, doing wonders, whereof we are glad, and rejoice with exceeding great joy."
" It may be so ” answered Israel reverently; "and I would not be one to speak a word or harbor a thought against the possibilities of the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet I remember that when Job saw the Lord, or his angel, it affected him with supreme self-abasement as never before; “but now mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.' Less than ever, did he feel that he was holy."
“With the doctrine of holiness," answered the man, “ I have not much to do. It may be true and it may not.”
“ What! then you, sir, are not a Methodist ? ” asked Israel.
“I've been a member of the Methodist Church since I was fifteen years old. I was converted at a place much like this," he replied.
“I thought all Methodists, that is, all who continue steadfast in the doctrine of the Church, believed and taught Holiness or Christian Perfection," said Israel.
The man shook his head.
“I suppose it's generally thought so,” he said, “ but not half of our people think much about it any way. Half of those who look into it at all, are ready to offer a reward for the sight of a perfect man or woman, since they never yet have seen one.”
“ The sermon, certainly, was a good one, which we had this evening on that subject,” continued Israel.
“O yes, very good for theory-very good to awaken the people. I guess you are not used to camp-meetings, are you?”
“ This is my first attendance,” said Israel.
At this juncture, the shouting and the singing became so powerfully sonorous, the conversation had to be suspended.
AN OLD MAN'S OPINION OF METHODISM.
The more Israel observed of this people, the more undecided was he what course to pursue respecting them. Some features of their faith and also of their practice commended themselves strongly to his approbation; of certain others he was in doubt; and yet others he wholly disliked.
He wrote to his guardian for advice, and received the following:
“You ask me my opinion of the Methodists, so called — referring, I conclude, to the largest body of that family in this country. Never was there a more palpable misnomer. A set of doctors of medicine, who lived about a century before Christ, first wore it, for what reason I know not, unless it was that they killed systematically. In the seventeenth century, certain Roman Catholics, who could split a hair between their dogmas and those of the Protestants, were called Methodists.
“In 1729, in England, there arose a 'godly club, headed by John Wesley, to which this name was finally fixed. You had better hunt up an account of this religious movement, which is considered by the
impartial historian one of the most remarkable events that ever happened in the annals of all Christendom. A great deal of its notoriety is derived from the fact of the then existing corruptions of the old Church of England, which furnished a splendid dark background for the new lights and strange shadows of the doings of these people.
"John Wesley was somewhat like Job. He, at first, sat down among the ashes of the mother church, with his three friends for counsellors, and scraped himself of its prevailing sins with the potsherd of self-denial. He then prepared himself by fasting and prayer, with works of charity, for his future mission.
“ After a time he took a wife, and he thought she spoke like one of the foolish women, and deported herself still more like a fool, in being jealous of him. But not many women would bear to have their husbands
away from them most of the time, in all sorts of places, though preaching, and writing meanwhile the most bowel-moving' letters to hosts of women, any more gracefully than did Mrs. Wesley.
“Like Job, also, he lost his old estate in the establishment, but finally came out with great possessions, so that his latter end was blessed of the Lord to the surprise of himself and everybody else.
"John Wesley had executive talent, education, and an indomitable will; but he was narrow, tyrannical, and superstitious. [I use this last word not as infidels employ it, to fling a stone at the rites of true piety, but simply as a Christian does when contemplating erratic bondage to idle and unauthorized fancies].
“In proof that he was narrow, it is only necessary
to refer to his slavish adherence to the Church of England, and his general views of the progress of true religion in the world as though it were a sin to send out the gospel of a free salvation in any other groove than the old, well-worn one, which he thought cut out by Christ and his apostles.
“That he was tyrannical is clear enough in every chapter of his history. His whole system, though professedly a free, democratic one, is a system of tyranny over the will, the conscience, and the actions, to the most minute degree. His ministers were hampered at every turn by numerous petty rules, which extended even to what they should say in private, and just how long they were to say it. He told them, as a clincher to his long list of duties,' that they were to act in all things not according to their own will, but
a son in the gospel, and in union with their brethren which meant as a son to him and in union with him. Their rules, which were all framed and sealed by himself, he concluded in this manner : “Remember, a Methodist preacher is to mind every point, great and small, in the Methodist discipline; therefore
will need all the grace and all the sense you have, and to have all your wits about you.'
“He taught toryism to his followers who were in America at the time of the Revolution. strongly opposed to the independence of the colonies until time and circumstance compelled him to be silent. He believed in keeping people under a monarchy both of state and church- the first to be centred in a king; the last in John Wesley, as a delegated power from 'the establishment. For well-organized tyranny, the