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College of which Wesley was a Fellow. Hervey was at that time one of the most popular writers of the day; for his "Meditations and Contemplations" came to a sixth edition, while Wesley was publishing his Appeals (1749). The мs. was speedily returned, as appears by the following transcript I made from an original letter, dated,
"Weston, June 29th, 1754. "DEAR SIR,—I have read your Notes, and have returned them by the Northampton carrier, and transmitted such observations as occur to my mind. I think, in general, you are too sparing of your remarks and improvements. Many expositions are too corpulent, yours are rather too lean. May the good hand of the Lord be with them and with their author.
'Bengelius* is likewise returned, with thanks for the use of that valuable book. Please to present my affectionate respects to Mr. Charles, and desire him, if he has done with Vitringa, to send it by the same conveyance as brings your parcel. Let me beg to be remembered in your prayers and in his, that I may not dishonour the relation of, "Dear Sir,
"Your brother and friend in Christ,
"To the Rev. John Wesley, at the Foundry, London."
In a letter to Mr. Richard Tompson, dated June 28th, 1755, he says: "I received your favour of the 22d very seasonably, for I was just revising my notes on the fifth chapter to the Romans: one of which I found, upon a closer inspection, seemed to assert such an imputation of Adam's sin to his posterity, as might make way for the 'horrible decree.' I therefore struck it out immediately; as I would willingly do whatsoever should appear to be any way inconsistent with that grand principle, The Lord is loving to every man; and his mercy is over all his works."" §
In February, 1756, he published his "Address to the Clergy," || which
found, and complete criticism on the New Testament, or rather an accurate edition. He became a critic from motives purely conscientious. The various deviations exhibited in preceding editions induced him to examine the text with great care and attention; and the result of his labours he published at various times, from 1725 to 1745. He died in 1752, justly entitled to the epithet Mr. Wesley gives him of "that great light of the Christian world." "Bengelius," says Mr. Jackson," was a Lutheran Minister of extraordinary piety and erudition. Many of Mr. Wesley's Notes on the New Testament are translated from the works of this celebrated critic and expositor. Mr. Charles Wesley had been led to a careful examination of Bengelius's writings, in consequence of the assistance which he had been called to render his brother in preparing his translation of the New Testament, and the explanatory Notes with which it is accompanied." (Life of Charles Wesley, vol. ii., p. 203.)
* Gnomon Novi Testamenti, 1742.
+ Chalmers calls it "a lasting memorial of the author's profound learning and solid piety."
The first controversy on the subject of the Calvinian system was with the celebrated Mr. Hervey; a gentleman of much piety and learning, and of the mildest and most amiable manners." (See Hampson's Life of Wesley, vol. iii., pp. 126, 127.) Mr. Wesley had drawn up some objections against his Dialogues of Theron and Aspasio; and the latter, not satisfied with them, prepared an answer in eleven Letters. ("Ascribed to Mr. Hervey," says Wesley. Journal, Nov. 12th, 1764. Works, vol. iii., p. 201.) This answer was not published in Mr. Hervey's life. It is said, he gave orders on his death-bed, that it should be suppressed; and execrable was the zeal which broke through so solemn an injunction.
§ Wesley's Works, vol. xii., p. 451.
London, printed 1756. 8vo., pp. 32.
occasioned * "An Expostulatory Letter to the Rev. Mr. Wesley," in which they thus animadvert upon his Notes, p. 12: "You have obliged the world, and us in particular, with a translation of the New Testament. We accept your labour of love with all thankfulness,' and assuredly trust that the 'administration of this service doth not only supply the necessities of the saints,' but likewise aboundeth by the thanksgivings of many to God, and by their prayer for you, who long after you for the exceeding grace which is in you.' Well assured we are, because you say, 'that you have never so much as in one place altered the text for altering's sake.' Nevertheless, we could have wished, for the sake of those who think otherwise of you than we do, that you had given some reasons-and good reasons you doubtless have-for the several alterations you have made. This would have been very edifying, both to ourselves and others, and would have freed us from the trouble of many perplexing questions, which vain cavillers are incessantly asking. For instance: why such alterations are made; why you say 'Happy,' instead of 'Blessed, are ye when men shall revile you,' &c.; and why you do not teach the Virgin Mary to speak the same English, All generations shall call me happy,' instead of 'blessed.' If we say, 'The words are different in the original, and require this difference in the translation,' we are in danger of discovering our own nakedness. If we say, you have expressly declared against multiplying trivial alterations; it is answered,—and we cannot withhold our testimony from the same opinion, that if the alteration is trivial, it ought not to be made at all; for if you who are familiar with other tongues, much more must we, who boast of no such gifts, see somewhat peculiarly solemn and venerable in the old language of our translation.' And if it be an 'excusable infirmity' in you, is it not almost a laudable prejudice in us, 'to be unwilling to part with what we have been long accustomed to, and to love the very words by which God has often conveyed strength or comfort to our souls?'
Suspect not, Sir, that we mention those things with any intention to blame you for what you have done: we mean only to express our uneasiness that you have done no more. Well satisfied we are, that every alteration you have made is right; but it would have been peculiarly pleasing and useful to us to have seen the reasons for as many of them as might be, in your own words; both because we are always pleased and improved with anything that is yours; and more especially in this case, because we should have been enabled thereby to withstand the disputes of this world, and to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” (P. 14.)
These hints, together with others, Mr. Wesley took in the same friendly manner as they were intended; and before he published his third edition, corrected, 1760,† we find the following entry in his Journal, under date of December 12th, 1759: "I began reading over the Greek Testament and the Notes, with my brother and several others," (but who those were he does
* London, printed for J. Wilkie, St. Paul's Church-Yard, 8vo., pp. 30, 1757. This is called in the title the Third Edition, corrected. The first volume was printed in 1760, the second, 1761, the third, 1762; in which same year, Charles Wesley brought out his "Short Hymns on select Passages of Scripture," designed to accompany the Notes, and thus furnish appropriate verses to the Preacher at the close of his discourse.
This end is still answered, as above an hundred are inserted in our general Hymn Book, while objectionable ones (Wesley's Works, vol. xii., p. 192) have been omitted. Those which we have are in high estimation: to instance only one, p. 312, "When quiet," &c., Deut. vi. 7.
not mention,) "carefully comparing the translation with the original, and correcting or enlarging the Notes as we saw occasion." *
In 1760, a correspondent of the " London Magazine" asked Mr. Wesley, "Why did you not, in your New Testament, distinguish those places with Italics where you altered the old translation?" He replied, "It was needless, as any who chose might compare the two translations together." It was further asked, "But should you not have given the learned a reason for every alteration?" "Yes," said he, "if I had written for the learned; but I did not, as I expressly mentioned in the preface."+
A fourth edition was published in 1768, and ‡ his last revision was for the edition of 1788, as appears by reference to his Journal under date of December 4th, 1787, where he says, "I retired to Rainham to prepare another edition of the New Testament for the press." §
There is an anecdote connected with the plate to the first edition, which ought not to be omitted, recorded by Mr. Wesley, on the death of John Downes. In 1744, "while I was shaving, he was whittling the top of a stick: I asked, 'What are you doing?' he answered, 'I am taking your face, which I intend to engrave on a copper-plate.' Accordingly, without any instruction, he first made himself tools, and then engraved the plate. The second print which he engraved was that which was prefixed to the Notes upon the New Testament.|| Such another instance, I suppose, not all England, or perhaps Europe, can produce." ¶ City-Road, Sept. 3d, 1847.
A FERVENT SPIRIT.
In heaven there is a perfect activity, because in heaven there is a perfect fervour. They are all happy there. They have a sufficient end in all they do. There is no wearying in their work, for there is no waning in their love. The want of a sufficient object would make any man idle. A friend once found the author of the "Seasons" in bed long after noon; and upbraiding him for his indolence, the poet remarked, that he just lay still, because, although he were up, he would have nothing to do. But even in this sluggish world, there are those whose hearty relish of their work, and sense of its importance, so inspire, that they are very loath when slumber constrains them to quit it, and often prevent the dawning in order to resume it. It was mathematical fervour which kept Newton poring on his problems till the midnight wind swept over his papers the ashes from his long-extinguished fire. It was artistic fervour which kept Reynolds with the pencil in his glowing hand for thirty-six hours together,
* Wesley's Works, vol. ii., p. 520.
+ Ibid., vol. xiii., p. 354.
By a deed enrolled in Chancery, in February, 1784, these Notes, together with the four first volumes of his Sermons, became the standard of doctrine to be preached in all Methodist chapels. (Vol. viii., p. 331.)
§ Mr. Valton has made the following entry in his Ms. Journal, under date of December 23d, 1780 :—“ The mornings I spent with the few that came in reading the Notes on the New Testament, with prayer; and we found it good to draw nigh to God."
"We notice the quarto edition of the Notes on the New Testament, as the most elegantly printed book Mr. Wesley ever published, and embellished with one of the best of his early prints that we have seen." (Hampson's Life of Wesley, vol. iii., p. 147.)
Wesley's Works, vol. iv., pp. 34, 35; Atmore's Memorial, pp. 109, 110.
evoking from the canvass forms of beauty that seemed glad to come. It was poetic fervour which sustained Dryden in a fortnight's frenzy, when composing his Ode on St. Cecilia's Day, heedless of privations which he did not so much as perceive. And it was scientific fervour which dragged the lazy but eloquent French naturalist, Buffon, from beloved slumbers to his still more beloved studies, for many years together. There is no department of human distinction which cannot record its feats of fervour. But shall science, with its corruptible crowns, and the world, with its vanities, monopolize this enthusiasm? If not, let each one consider, What is the greatest self-denial to which a godly zeal has prompted me? Which is the largest or the greatest work through which a holy fervour has ever carried me?-Hamilton's Life in Earnest.
SCIENCE AND RELIGION.
Ir is most unfortunate that science and religion should ever have been made to assume a hostile front. This has been productive of incalculable mischief, which has operated in two different directions. In the first place, it has too frequently led the friends and advocates of religion to display an unwarrantable jealousy of the progress of science, and to frown upon those who were engaged in the ardent prosecution of it. It would appear as if the imagination had been indulged, that every new conquest achieved by science, involved the loss of a domain to religion; that every new pillar erected in the temple of science had been stolen from the temple of religion. This sort of groundless alarm might have suited the time when ignorance was esteemed the mother of devotion; and when, undoubtedly, it was the interest of the priesthood of a corrupt superstition that men should know as little and think as little as possible. But surely all such jealousy is unworthy of those who have an equally well-grounded conviction, that the works of nature and the volume of revelation proceeded from the same source. If this be the case, then, while science and religion may each have their appropriate domain within which their dicta are absolute, it can never happen that these will be contradictory. God has not written one language in the Bible, and a contradictory language on the face of creation. Revelation and science may not always speak the same truths, but they will never speak opposite truths. The danger lies in a kind of twilight understanding of either. It is not only possible, but likely, that an imperfect knowledge of the Scriptures, on the one hand, and an imperfect knowledge of science, on the other, may land us in irreconcilable difficulties, which can only be cleared away by a more complete understanding of both. But this, so far from leading us to be jealous of the advances of science, should lead us rather to encourage and stimulate them to the utmost. While it is not only justifiable, but right, that we should regard with suspicion any conclusion of science which seems subversive of the truths of the Bible, it would be at once irrational and sinful to attempt to stop its progress. Perhaps the conclusion may be a wrong one, deduced from a superficial acquaintance with science, which, if farther prosecuted, would lead to its abandonment. Perhaps the contrariety between science and revelation is only apparent, and results from our hasty and erroneous interpretation of the Bible. Take, for example, the well-known case of Galileo. He became convinced, as he prosecuted the study of astronomy, that it was not the sun which revolved round the earth, as was universally believed at that time, but that the earth revolved round the sun. Alarm was taken at
this conclusion, as if it expressly contradicted the language of the Bible, which speaks of the sun as rising and going down, and Galileo was subjected to persecution as an infidel. What, then, was the result? The science of Galileo has been established beyond the power of contradiction; but the Bible has not therefore been found to speak the language of falsehood. His discovery has only led to a sounder interpretation of those texts which the science of astronomy was thought to contradict. And this must be the issue of all seeming contradictions between revelation and science. It may happen that science now, as in the days of Galileo, may subvert some of our views of Scripture language; but, if so, we ought rather to rejoice that science has aided us to a sounder and more correct interpretation of the Bible than we had hitherto attained. Here, then, are two errors to be guarded against, which we shall take time merely to notice. The first is the tendency to bend the facts of science to meet our views of revelation. No attempt could be more mischievous than this. When we are engaged in examining the properties and relations of matter, let us receive the facts it gives us without equivocation and without reserve; let us listen to the voice we evoke, as if there was not another in the universe. When we set ourselves to study nature, let us become the faithful and humble interpreters of nature. The second error is, the tendency hastily to adapt the language of Scripture to the inferences of science, This tendency is no less mischievous than the other, and has led in some instances to an utter subversion of all religious truth. When we are engaged in the study of the Bible, let us deal by it as we would by science itself. Let us hear what it says without reserve, and listen to its voice as the voice of God. Our part is to act as its faithful and humble interpreters, and to subject it only to such questionary processes as we would adopt with any other record, the real meaning of which we were anxious to ascertain. By acting thus honestly both with science and with religion, it will be found that they speak a language always harmonious, because always true.-From Lecture on the Claims of Science on Young Men, by Rev. William Wilson, Carmylie.
(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.)
THE Voix Nouvelle of Paris gives, under the above title, the interesting and instructing recital of which the following is a translation :
If ever you visit Normandy, choose the month of June, and devote the third of a day to Biville, a little village on the high-road from Rouen to Dieppe. It has little to interest the tourist; but is, nevertheless, on the 19th of June, the most curious place in the ancient country of Rollo. On the eve of that date I did not know this, owing to my being a Huguenot ; but without further introduction I will tell you what I saw and heard.
I arrived at Biville with a friend at half-past two in the afternoon: the road swarmed with people in Sunday trim, with goers and comers, on foot, horse, and vehicle tents were spread before the church, and in an adjacent field; the public-houses were choked with customers. I asked a boy what caused the unaccustomed activity in a place usually so dull. They are going," he replied, "to light the fire of St. Onuphre." "The fire of St. Onuphre!" I said, with surprise; "and what is the fire of St. Onuphre?" "O Sir, it is a fine thing, that brings plenty of people to Biville on the 19th 3 x
VOL. III.-FOURTH SERIES.