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II.-THE DOCTRINES AND THE DEVOTIONAL SER
VICES OF THE WESLEYAN-METHODISTS.
eternity. She was a stranger. Her agony of mind are referred to in the trust-deeds of the chapels, seemed overpowering. Her whole body trembled- as containing the standard doctrines of the
1 her voice shook--her tears ran down. Her fear was Connexion. And it may be observed here, that lest she should miss the way and come short at last perspicuity was one of the most distinguishing In her anguish, she laid her head down upon the characteristics of John Wesley's style, both in ! table by which I was sitting, and as she sobbed aloud, preaching and writing; so that no reader of she cried out in a tone I cannot forget, “I've gone to ordinary intelligence who fairly examines his the kirk, I've gone to ministers, I've gone to prayer-works, can be at a loss to know his meaning. meetings, and maybe I'll not get to heaven after It is only by supposing that such fair examina
tion has been neglected, that we can account Awake, thou that sleepest! Up and run! It is for the strange misconceptions of his opinions for thy life—it is for eternity--it is for heaven! No which have sometimes been entertained. lingering—no bulting-no looking back ! “ Seek the 1. ORIGINAL SIX, AND HUMAN DEPRAVITY AND Lord while he may be found.” Make sure of Chriet. HIELPLLESSN ESS.—The views on this subject held Make sure of an entrance into the kingdom ! and taught by the Wesleyan-Methodists, cannot
be more clearly stated than in the following exNOTES ON WESLEYAN-METIIODISM.
tract from one of the Catechisms (No. II.) pub.
lished under the direction of the Conference. BY DR JOHN B. BENNETT, Editor of the “Watchman,” London,
Quer. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that state into which man fell?
Ans. It consists in the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which
is commonly called original sin, together with all MR WESLEY repeatedly declared, that the doc
actual transgressions which proceed from it. trines which he held and taught were those
Ques. In what consists the misery of that state
into which man fell? contained in the Articles of the Church of Ans. All mankind being born in sin, and following England; for, with many others, he understood the devices and desires of their own corrupt hearts, the 17th Article in a sense compatible with
are under the wrath and curse of God, and so are belief in the redemption and possible salvation
made liable to the miseries of this life, to death itself, of the whole human race. It may be enough,
and to the pains of hell hereafter. then, to state, generally, that the Wesleyan- And Mr Wesley was accustomed to express | Methodists agree in the common faith of ortho- his views in such language as this: “ In Adam
dox Protestant Churches respecting such truths all died-all human kind-all the children of as the inspiration and supreme authority of the inen who were then in Adam's loins. The Holy Scriptures, and the right of every man to natural consequence of this is, that every one read them and judge of their meaning for him- descended from him comes into the world self; the existence of three co-equal and co- spiritually dead-dead to God, wholly dead in eternal persons, Father, Son,* and Holy Ghost; sin, entirely void of the life of God-void of the in the unity of the Godhead; the true Divinity image of God--of all that righteousness and and real humanity united in the person of holiness wherein Adam was created. Instead Christ; the properly sacrificial and atoning cha- of this, every man born into the world now
racter of his death; his exaltation, and abiding bears the image of the devil, in pride and self| priestly intercession and kingly rule; the cer- will; the image of the beast, in sensual appe
tainty that he will come again to judge the tites and desires.”* The Wesleyans, then, hold quick and dead; the resurrection of the body; that fallen man, thus totally depraved, is utterly and the eternity of the torments of the lost as unable to move towards God and Christ, or to well as of the happiness of the saved. We take any step towards his recovery, “ without shall thus have a little more room to state the the grace of God preventing him, that he may
Wesleyan views on some points on which they have a good will, and working with him when i are, or are thought to be, peculiar. There is lie has that good will.”
1 no difficulty in ascertaining them. They are 2. THE ATONENENT, ITS EXTENT AND Coxseto be found in recognised publications, especially QUENCES.- The Wesleyan doctrine is, that the in Mr Wesley's fifty-three Discourses (first atonement was co-extensive with the fall; not published in four volumes in 1771), which, to- merely that the sacrifice of Christ was suffigether with his Notes on the New Testament, ciently meritorious to be, had God so willed it,
a full and complete propitiatory offering for all * It is well known that Dr Adam Clarke, although a firm believer in the Deity of Christ, yet denied that the title
the sins of the whole world, but that it truly “ Son" had reference to his divine nature; and, indeed, con- and actually was offered for every human being. ceived that in restricting its application to "the holy person or thing born of the Virgin by the energy of the Holy Christ thus becoming, as Mr Wesley expressed Spirit," he was erecting a bulwark against the Socinian and it,“ another common head of mankind, a second of this opinion from Wesleyan pulpits has been provided. general parent and representative of the whole Every candidate for the Wesleyan mini try is now, in the human race.” This they call free grace, as ex. course of his exauoination on doctrines, distinctiy ques. rioned as to his belief in the Dirine and Eterna! Sunship of
tending freely to all. They believe that, through ¡ the Lord Jesus.
Sermon on “ The New Birth."
NOTES ON WESLEYAN-METHODISM.
the atonement and mediation of the Saviour, either past, future, or spiritual. Justifying faith a measure of grace-grace enough to enable implies not only a divine evidence or conviction him successfully to seek for more grace—is that God was in Christ reconciling the world given to every man; but that this grace may unto himself, but a full reliance on the merits be resisted, and is resisted, until it is quenched, of his death-a sure confidence that Christ died by all who persevere in sin and unbelief. This for my sins--that he loved me, and gave himself leads us to notice the Wesleyan doctrine on,
And the moment a penitent sinner 3. MoraL LIBERTY.-Here we shall avail believes this, God pardons and absolves him.” ourselves of the statement of Mr Wesley's With reference to the origination of this faith, views given by his friend and fellow-helper, the Mr Wesley affirms, “ that it is the gift of God. Rev. J. W. Fletcher of Madeley :
No man is able to work it in himself. It is a
work of omnipotence.” And again, he says, As a consequence of the doctrine of general redemption, Mr Wesley lays down two axionis, of which
“No merit, no goodness in man precedes the he never loses sight in his preaching. The first is, forgiving love of God.” that all our solration is of God in Christ, and there- Distinct from justification, and in order sulfore of grace; all opportunities, invitations, inclina- sequent to it, yet conferred at the same time tion, and power to believe, being bestowed upon us
with it, are, according to the Wesleyan theolgy, of pure grace, grace most absolutely free.
And so far I hope that all who are called Gospel mini
the blessings of adoption and regeneration. sters agree with him. But he proceeds further, for 5. ADOPTION AND THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT. secondly, he asserts with equal confidence that, ac- -The Catechism defines adoption as cording to the Gospel dispensation, all our damnation
of God's free grace, whereby, upon the foris of ourselies, by our obstinate unbelief and avoidable untaithfulness ; as we may “neglect so great salva
giveness of sins, we are received into the tion," desire to be “excused” from coming to the number, and have a right to all the privileges, feast of the Lamb, “make light" of God's gracious of the sons of God." The justified man, then, offers, refuse to “ occupy," bury our talent, and act being adopted into the heavenly family, it is the part of the "slothful servant;" or, in other his privilege, the Wesleyans hold, to have the words, “resist, grieve, do despite to, and quench the testimony of the Holy Ghost, as the “Spirit Spirit of grace" by our moral agency.
of adoption,” bearing a clear and unequivocal 4. JUSTIFICATION.— The definition in the testimony to this all-important fact, and so authorized Catechism already referred to, is: filling him with peace and joy. They regard “ Justification is an act of God's free grace,
this witness not as an indirect or reflex eviwherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth dence, afforded by the man's experience of the , us as righteous in his sight, only for the sake " fruits of the Spirit”, in his heart or life, but of Christ.” This justification, Wesleyans as- as directly borne, and as necessarily antecedent sert, is by faith alone. It must, indeed, they to the testimony of the believer's own spirit, say, be preceded by repentance, which is described inasmuch as before we can have a consciousin the Catechism as a grace of the Holy Spirit, ness of loving God, we must really love him; whereby a sinner, from a sense of his sins, and before we can really love him, we must be apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, assured that he loves us ; and the assurance doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turu of his love can be communicated only by the from it to God, with full purpose of, and endea- Spirit. . . . . Of the nature of this “ witness,” vours after, future obedience.” But although which is made so prominent in Wesleyan a sinner must be a penitent in order to liis preaching, Mr Wesley says: “ It is hard to find acceptable exercise of justifying faith, yet it is words in the language of men to explain the not repentance, in whole or in part, but faith, deep things of God. Indeed, there are none and faith alone, that justifies. Mr Wesley is very that will adequately express what the Spirit of explicit, both in his assertion of the doctrine God works in his children. But, perhaps, we of justification by faith, and in his description might say (desiring any who are taught of God of the faith which justifies. “ That justifica- to correct, soften, or strengthen, the exprestion,” he says,
“ whereof our Articles and sion), by the testimony of the Spirit I mean Homilies speak, signifies present forgiveness, an inward impression on the soul, whereby the pardon of sins, and consequently, acceptance Spirit of God immediately and directly witnesses with God, who therein declares his righteous with my spirit that I am a child of God; that ness or justice, and mercy, by or for the remis- Jesus Christ hath loved me and given himself sion of sins that are past (Rom. iii. 25), saying, for me; that all my sins are blotted out, and I, *I will be merciful to thy unrighteousness, and even I, am reconciled to God. I do not mean thine iniquities will I remember no more.' I hereby,” Mr Wesley adds, “ that the Spirit of believe the condition of this is faith (Rom. iv. God testifies this by any outward voice; no, nor 5, &c.); I mean, not only that without faith we always by an inward voice, although he may cannot be justified, but also, that as soon as any do this sometimes. Neither do I suppose that one has true faith, in that moment he is justified. he always applies to the heart, though he often Faith, in general, is a divine, supernatural evi- may, one or more texts of Scripture. But he dence or conviction of things not seen, not so works upon the soul by his immediate infludiscoverable by our bodily senses, as being ence, and by a strong, though inexplicable
operation, that the stormy wind and troubled till sin is separated from his soul; and in thai waves subside, and there is a sweet calm: the instant he lives the full life of love." It is heart resting as in the arms of Jesns, and the added, however: “Yet he still grows in grace, sinner being clearly satisfied that all his in the knowledge of Christ, in the love and iniquities are forgiven, and his sins covered.'” image of God; and will do so, not only till death,
6. REGENERATION.–We shall again extract but through all eternity." from the Conference Catechism here.
We naturally pass from this view of the Ques. What is regeneration, or the new birth?
height to which the Wesleyans elevate the Ans. It is that great change which God works in standard of possible Christian attaivment, to the soul, when he raises it from the death of sin to notice their belief respecting the life of righteousness. It is the change wrought 8. THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS.— They
in the whole soul by the Almighty, when it is hold that a believer need never fall from grace, I created anew in Christ Jesus-- when it is renewed after the image of God, in righteousness and true
but that, on the contrary, he may and should go holiness.
on froni strength to strength. But they also Ques. What follows from our regeneration, or believe that, through temptation and unwatchbeing born again?
fulness, he may fall into sin, and not only lose, 11 Ans. Then our sanctification being begun, we re
for a time, but never recover, the favour and ceive power to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of image of God. Christ, and to live in the exercise of inward and
This part of our subject may be concluded outward holiness.
by a few words, stating the Wesleyan doctrine We are now led a doctrine whichi, perhaps,
respecting more than any other in the Wesleyan system 9. Good Works. While the Wesleyans of theology, has been made the subject of ad-strenuously deny that good works can, in any verse comment. The reader will anticipate degree, avail to the justification of the sinner, that we allude to the doctrine of
and that the unjustified man can perforin any 7. Extire SANCTIFICATION, OR
“ CHRISTIAN work that has not in it “ the nature of sin," PERFECTION.”—The Wesleyans believe not only they as earnestly affirm that wherever justify. that a work of progressive sanctification is ing faith has been brought into exercise, its carried forward in the believer from the period genuineness will, and must, be attested by the of his conversion, but, moreover, that those who fruit of good works. And while, in anticipatseek the blessing by earnest faith, may attaining the judgment of the great day, they mainto a maturity of grace which will exclude sin tain such feelings as those thus expressed in from the heart, and fill it with perfect love to one of their most popular hymns :God and man. This attainment is what they
“When from the dust of death I rise, call Christian Perfection. But, various mis.
To claim my mansion in the skies, takes on this point might have been avoided,
Even then, this shall be all my plea,
JESUS hath lived, hath died for me !" if Mr Wesley's own statements respecting it had 1 been attended to. For instance, he says : “ To they believe that works, as the evidences of explain himself a little further on this head :- faith, will then be inquired into; and, moreover, 1. Not only sin properly so called (that is, a that good works, springing from lively faith, voluntary transgression of a kuown law), but and performed through love of God, will be resin improperly so called (that is, an involuntary quited with a reward, not the less precious transgression of a divine law, known or un- because it will be, not at all of debt, but known), needs the atoning blood. 2. I believe altogether of grace. there is no such perfection in this life as ex- We have thus given what we believe to be cludes these involuntary transgressions, which I a correct summary of those doctrines which apprehend to be naturally consequent on the are either, in some degree, peculiar to the ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mor- Wesleyan-Methodists, or on which mistakes tality. 3. Therefore, 'sinless perfection' is a and misrepresentations have existed as to their phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contra opinions. We have thought it the better plan dict myself. 4. I believe a person filled with to select and extract passages from authorized the love of God is still liable to these involun- documents on the several points, thus letting tary transgressions. 5. Such transgressions Wesleyanism speak for itself. This may have you may call sins if you please; I do not, for caused the statement of doctrines to wear somethe reasons above-mentioned.” The Wesleyans times rather an apologetical and defensire aspect, believe that this attainment of “perfect love” scarcely consistent with the impartiality we may be at once realized through faith. In Mr desire to manifest, so far as the composition of Wesley's “ Plain Account of Christian Perfec- these articles is concerned; but this fault-if tion," he thus speaks : “A man may be dying fault it be-is made up for by the authentication for some time; yet he does not, properly speak- and rerification of the statements which are thus ing, die till the instant his soul is separated from secured. the body; and in that instant he lives the life A few very brief notices of the Religious of eternity. In like manner, he may be dying SERVICES of the Wesleyan-Methodists shall to sin for some time; yet he is not dead to sin, conclude the present paper.
THE POOR COTTAGER'S DEATH,
PUBLIC WORSHIP,--This, on the Sabbath Amongst the peculiarities of Methodism, we morning, is commenced in many of the most must notice Class-Meetings and Lote-Feasts. important congregations, by the reading of the CLASS-MEETINGS.— Their origin has been adChurch of England service, in a more or less verted to in the preceding paper. Persons abridged form. The Conference has recom- “ desirous to flee from the wrath to come" mended that, when this is not done, the lessons assemble weekly to relate to each other their for the day, as appointed in the calendar, religious experience-to receive from the leader should be read. Where this formulary is not such counsel or admonition as they may respecused (and, indeed, where it is, only that the sub- tively require, to pray for one another, and to sequent devotional exercises are then shortened), encourage and stimulate one another in the a hymn is sung from a hymn-book compiled ways of piety. Band- Isertings are class-meetby John Wesley, and subsequently much en- ings on a smaller scale as to numbers, comlarged, of which, however, the compositions of prising usually only a very few persons, and on Charles Wesley, of whom the Methodists de- a stricter plan as to faithfulness in the interlight to think as the “sweet singer” of their change of mutual reproof or advice. Israel, occupy a large portion. Extempora- LOVE-FEasts are a revival, in a simpler form, neous prayer follows; then another hymn; and with a more expressly religious purpose, then, unless the Church service has been pre- of the agape of the primitive Christians. The viously used, reading of the Scriptures; then members of society meet, sing and pray toan extemporaneons sermon; and the service is gether; partake of bread and water, as an inconcluded with singing and prayer. With the dication of kindly feeling ; pass some time in exception of the Church service, the same order the relation of Christian experience, as at classis observed in the evening worship. A prayer meetings; and contribute to a collection for meeting frequently follows, in which several the poorer members of the Church. These accredited official or private members, under “ feasts of love" generally take place after the the superintendence of the minister, or some quarterly visitation of the classes, when the other known and responsible person, engage in ministers have personally seen and inquired prayer.
into the spiritual condition of the members, WATCH-Nights.— The custom of holding and have given to those deserving of continued “ watch-nights,” originated with the converted membership, the “ Ticket,” with a text of colliers at Kingswood, near Bristol, who had Scripture printed on it, which is the token of been accustomed, when they were slaves of sin, recognition, admitting to those services which to pass their Saturday nights at the ale-house. are not open to the public. They now devoted that night to prayer and The ecciesiastical frame-work of the Wespraise. Mr Wesley took up the idea, and re- leyan Church-its affairs, and the funds by solved to make something like their practice which its operations are sustained—will form general. Watch-nights may be held at any the subject in our next article. time; but the principal observance of the usage in the Wesleyan Church is on the last night of the old year. Then, prayers, a sermon, exhor
THE POOR COTTAGER'S DEATH. tations, and the singing of appropriate hymns, “ I will tell you what I think, sir," said a poor cota! are continued until within a few minutes of tager, in reply to a Christian ister, who had been twelve o'clock. The congregation engage in talking to him about the concerns of his soul: " I silent prayer, during the minutes immediately think God is too merciful to take much notice of
what we poor creatures do. May be he will reckon preceding and following the stroke of mid.
with those who are learned and rich, and who know night. Then they arise, and, usually, sing a better than we, who are not scholars; but I do think, hymn, well known in the Connexion, which if I can only ask him to save me when I come to die, begins
that I should fare very well in the other world, if
there be one.” “I endeavoured," said the minister, “Come, let us anet our journey pursue, Holl round with the year.
"to show him that though God has made a difference And never stand still till the Master appear."
among his creatures in the distribution he has made
of his bounty, yet, as sinners, we are on a level in his Prayer closes the service.
sight; that he notices alike the conduct of every raRENEWAL OF THE COVEXANT._ This service is tional creature; that he has given us a revelation of held early in the new year—when practicable, his will, which shows us the way of salvation by his on the first Sabbath. 'It is a renewal of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; and that this way of engagement of the members of the Societies to plain, that even the most unlearned may understand
recovery from our perishing state as sinners, is so be devoted to God. A sermon or exhortation it; and that if he refused to listen to the truth when is delivered; extracts from a powerful tract, he had an opportunity of doing so, he would act as ! entitled "Directions for Penitents and Be- wickedly as if he really knew it.". “ It may be so, sir, lievers Renewing their Covenant with God," are
perhaps; but I only mean to take care of the main read; the officiating minister reads the “Cove and then it may be time enough to see about the
chance, as we country folk say, till I am going to die, nant Prayer" from this tract; and the solemn other world.” service is generally concluded by the adminis.
," said I, “ you really think that taking tration of the Lord's supper.
care of your temporal interest, and obtaining food
and clothing, is the principal thing which man has to effort I could make seemed to be but of little use in do in the present world". " I think so, and so does penetrating his understanding. In a day or two he a power of other people.” “ If you had a box,” I died, and was called before " the righteous Judge of asked, “ which contained a thousand guineas, which the whole earth." would it be best to take care of-the box, which was The awful prospect of this poor man's future state decaying, or the money?" “ Oh, the money to be has often been to me a source of much anxiety. At sure !”
“ And if you have a soul which must live times, I have indulged a hope of meeting him before for ever and ever, and a body in which it lives only the throne of God, as a trophy of the grace of Jesus, for a little while, and will then decay, which should shown at the last hour; but far oftener have I feared you care for most?" "Ah! sir, that is all very that his long rejection of the mercy of Christ only good, I dare say, but we must take care of the body prepared him for the torments of hell. It is true, he now, that is certain; and the soul must be thought of appeared to repent of his past sins; but it might have by-and-by.”
been only the fear of future punishment, rather than I could make no impression on his mind, but re- grief of heart on account of offending a holy and tired, praying that He who wept over the impenitent gracious God. What a warning! Oh, sinner! resinners of Jerusalem would be pleased to show this pent now—even now, while it is called to-dayman his folly, and lead him to seek that salvation lest, when death comes, you bind your bands too without the possession of which no man can be saved strong.-N. Y. Observer. from the wrath to come. Several years passed away, when I was one day in
THE ALTOGETHER LOVELY. formed that a man, in breathless haste, had come to say that John Wilkins was dying, and that I must
AUGUSTINE's prayer was : Lord, give me thyself!" immediately go to see him. I hastened to the cottage,
And in this spirit the believer is ready to exult: where I found the poor old man with whom I had " Whom have I in the heavens but thee, and there the conversation I have repeated. He had met with is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. The an accident while engaged in his labour, and had Lord himself is the portion of mine inheritance and just been informed by his doctor that he could not survive it many days. “O sir !" said he, the mo
of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are ment he saw me enter his room,
fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly
O sir! my soul is lost !--my soul is lost! Save me, O save me! I am heritage. I will bless the Lord who hath given me dying--I cannot live;- you must save me! O sir! do counsel.” Surely the whole world cannot weigli save me!"
against the comfort of being able to let all go and He was in unutterable distress; nor was it without
“ Thou art my portion, O Lord." For, cause. He had neglected the great concerns of immortality through life, and how could it be expected
unless his perfections should moulder away, and that he would be happy in the prospect of death!
leave him a destitute and indigent God, it is imposHe had neglected the service of that Being who re
sible that his people can be impoverished. This quires us to seek his favour as soon as we have heard portion, however, can never be enjoyed, even by a of his requirements; and how, then, could he expect child of God, unless He who is the essence of it be to be favoured with joy in the prospect of appearing at his bar!“I cannot save you, John," I replied;
supreme in the soul--not only above all, but in the you have been an awful sinner for many years; you place of all. Other objects may be subordinately have broken the law of God; you have long refused
loved; but of none but Himself must we say: " He | to hear how he could save you. No man or angel is altogether lovely."— Rev. C. Bridges.
could save you; nor can anything short of the infinite grace of the almighty God save you from endless
PRAYING TO SAINTS. misery." He cried out, “ I know it, I know it; but what can I do? Will God anyhow have mercy on
The rich man cried out and said, “Father Abraham,
have mercy upon me!" There was a time when te I sat down, and endeavoured, in the plainest and
might have prayed to the God of Abraham, and have simplest manner, to explain the way of salvation, by whom in his life he bad neglected; and he addressed
found mercy; now he dares not approach that God, | Christ's dying for our sins, to him. I showed him how we had all failed to obey the holy and righteous dispense blessedness. This is the only instance men
a creature, who has neither power nor authority to law of God; that we had done many things which we ought not to have done, and had left undone many confusion of the false doctrine, which states it to be
tioned in Scripture of praying to saints, and to the things which God had commanded us to perform; necessary and available, let it be remembered, that it that, as the effect of our sins, we had drawn on ourselves the anger of God, who has said: “Cursed be
was practised only by a damned soul, and that with he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do
out any success. --- dam Clarke. them” (Deut. xxvii. 26); and that, therefore, we could not by any means make atonement to his jus
DEATII OF CHILDREN. tice for the sins we bad committed. I then told him | LEIGHTON thus wrote on hearing of the death of a that so great was the love of God to poor sinners, that child: “Sweet thing, and is he so quickly laid he sent his only Son into the world to publish the holy asleep? Happy he! Though we shall have no more law, and to die, that sinners by him might be saved; the pleasure of his lisping and laughing, he shall have and I assured him that even the greatest sinner, who believed our Lord Jesus Christ, and placed his
no more the pain of crying, nor of being sick, nor of hope of salvation on him, as the only and all-suffi- dying. Tell my dear sister, that she is now so much cient Saviour, might enjoy the eternal blessings of his more akin to the other world; and this will be quickly mercy. He listened with eagerness to the communi- passed to us all. John is but gone at an early hour cations I made, and to the prayers I offered on his to bed, as children use to do, and we are undressing account; but whether his entire neglect of all the means of grace previously might not have
to follow. And the more we put off the love of the
prevented lais being able to understand the way of salvation, 1 present world, and all things superfluous, beforehand, am unable to say; it is certain, however, that every
we shall have the less to do when we lie down."