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people of their age. No! there had been certain promises made for them, and in their names, when they were too young to comprehend their meaning; promises which affected the eternal well-being or misery of their immortal souls. They were now old enough to understand the nature of those promises; and to see that it was imperative on themselves to perform them. They were promises also which originally had not been lightly entered into. They had been made before God, and to God, and in His holy house. On taking upon themselves, therefore, the duty of fulfilling them, they were not to do so lightly, and in a careless manner. It would be impossible for them "to renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh," unless they were truly and heartily desiring to be holy as God is holy, and to be pure as God is pure. They could not believe all the articles of the Christian faith, unless they first understood that faith, and gave their minds to the study of the Word of God; that blessed Book, in which is declared to us His holy will, and in which His commandments are set forth. And, unless they knew all these things, how was it possible for them to walk therein all the days of their lives?

These are themes which are easily stated, but they occupy a considerable time in conveying their full meaning to the minds of young people. Even after many public exhortations and examinations, I was not content until I had had each child alone with me, that I might converse more particularly, and try to meet its special case by such counsels and encouragements as it seemed to need. Yes; and if any parent should read these remembrances of my village flock, I would beg to impress upon him or her, that there is no way so effectual towards the solemnizing of the minds of their offspring, or so well calculated to lead them to the Good Shepherd, as taking them into the silence and solitude of the closet, and talking with them, reading with them, and praying with them, there. I know there have been some in Hurworth who have dated their first really spiritual impressions to scenes such as these, either with their own parents, or with myself, when they were preparing for confirmation, or were about to be admitted, for the first time, to the table of the Lord.

Our last examination was passed. The morning of the solemn ceremony came. Once more were my lambs assembled around their pastor. A brief prayer I offered for them at the altar. Our little church was crowded with the parents and friends of the children, who had assembled to witness their setting out. We had not quite two miles to walk to the magnificent cathedral of York. It was a lovely morning; the sun shone forth in all its splendour, and the gentle breezes that fanned the air, seemed to impart a peculiar cheerfulness to the scene. As soon as we had passed the gates of the enclosure, which encircles the church, and marks the spot where are gathered to their last earthly resting places the remains of past generations, we began the following hymn-or, more properly speaking, version of the eighth psalm, written by myself-not expressly for that occasion, it is true, though it was by no means inapplicable. Nature was rejoicing around us; and it was in this way that we ought to worship Nature's God.

O Lord, our Lord, in might excelling,

All praise to Thy great name be given ! To Thee, who now in glory dwelling,

Art worshipped by the hosts of heaven! Out of the mouths of babes ordaining

Strength, so that they o'ercome their foes, Still in us, Lord, Thy might maintaining,

May we all Satan's wiles oppose. When we behold, in splendour shining,

Thy heavens begemmed with orbs light; Each in his Maker's praise combining, We sing Thy love, O Infinite!

Lord, what is man? that Thou regarding
Him from thy glorious throne above,
Such blessings to his soul awarding,
Should'st crown him with Thy wond'rous

Thou mad'st him than Thy angels lower,

But yet with richer mercies crowned; Beasts of the earth confess his power,

While nature echoes it around.

O Lord, our Lord, in might excelling,

All praise to Thy great name be given!
To Thee, who now in glory dwelling,
Art worshipped by the hosts of heaven!

At the appointed hour my young people were sitting beneath the roof of the sacred edifice, amongst a thousand others, waiting the solemn imposition of the

prelate's hands. All was still. The very breath, which forced itself between the anxiously half open lips, seemed, as it were, to chide itself for disturbing the solemn silence which prevailed. Every spot was filled. Each "long-drawn aisle" was crowded, either with the youth, or with interested spectators. The light, streaming through the beautifully painted windows, rendered the scene literally enchanting. And now the distant sound of slowly-advancing feet stole on the ear; nearer and nearer it approached; and, in an instant, the thrilling strain of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus burst from the noble organ; the solemn tones rolling majestically along, and seeming to make the very walls echo and re-echo the harmonious sounds. Every heart-string seemed to throb; while Imagination plumed her wings, and soared upwards, as it were, to the highest heavens. Surely there is indeed in music a power to still the workings of a wandering mind, to draw it away from earthly objects, and to attune it for the consideration of heavenly.

The service then commenced; and it was to me an interesting and a prayerful moment when the venerable archbishop asked of those before him, if they renewed the solemn promise and vow made in their name at their baptism? and every young voice answered, each for itself, "I do." And then, when all knelt to receive the imposition of hands, and I considered how many were thus outwardly devoting themselves, and their lives, to the service of God, and testifying it by this public act, how could my heart refuse its solemn "Amen" to this beautifully-expressive prayer? "Defend, O Lord, these Thy children with Thy heavenly grace, that they may continue Thine for ever; and daily increase in Thy Holy Spirit more and more, until they come unto Thy everlasting kingdom."

I have made but little mention of John Pruner in this chapter: let not my readers suppose I have forgotten him. He took his place, with many others, all equally interesting to me, and conducted himself, at least, with outward decorum. His heart, and not his only, I trust, was engaged in that solemn hour.

The kind bounty of a Christian friend furnished my youthful band with refreshments before they set out on their return home. In the same orderly manner in which we came, so went we back to the village, where most of the inhabitants, attired in their Sunday's best, were waiting to receive us. As we passed along, we sang another psalm of my own, as we had done in the morning, which was as follows:

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By this time we had reached the church; and, as the afternoon was far spent, with one short prayer, and a benediction, I closed the solemnities of the day, and dismissed my young charge to their homes. With the reader's permission, I will here, for a time, dismiss him also, begging him only, in conclusion, to accept equally with those little ones, the blessing of "The Pastor of Hurworth.'


THE Bible is the lamp of truth suspended from the vault of heaven, by the hand of God himself, to illumine a Lenighted world; and its pure and holy flame is continually kept alive by the Spirit of God.--REV. W. HOWELL.

(Continued from page 296, Volume IX.)

MR. WHITFIELD's journey lay through Kingswood; and there the colliers, without his knowledge, had prepared an entertainment for him. As this was his farewell visit, they earnestly entreated that he would lay the foundation-stone of their school. A person present offered a piece of ground, in case the lord of the manor should refuse, and Mr. Whitfield then laid a stone; after which, he knelt, and prayed God that the gates of hell might not prevail against their design; the colliers adding a hearty 'Amen.' After giving them a word of exhortation suitable to the occasion, he took his leave, promising that he would come amongst them again, on his return to England.

Such was the commencement of the school and preaching-house, afterwards called the "Tabernacle," at Kingswood. In Miles' Chronological History of the Methodists, and by the biographers of Mr. Wesley, no notice is taken of Mr. Whitfield's having laid the foundation-stone of the school; but all unite in ascribing the work wholly to Mr. Wesley. Mr. Miles says, "In June, 1739, the first attempt was made towards erecting a school at Kingswood." A reference to the journals of Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Wesley will prove the incorrectness of this statement. The foundation-stone was laid by Mr. Whitfield on the second of April, as stated above, two days after Mr. Wesley's arrival in Bristol. It is possible, and even probable, that he was present at this interesting service, but there exists no notice of it in his journal of that date.

On the day before his departure, he set Mr. Wesley an example of field-preaching; and from this period we find him treading in his irregular steps at Bristol; though he confesses, that he had been so tenacious of decency and order, that he should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin, if not done in a church. The multitudes which attended the preaching of Mr. Wesley were great, though not so numerous as those who had flocked to Mr. Whitfield; but the sudden impressions, and loud cries of the hearers, were far greater than anything we find recorded in the Life and Journals of Mr. Whitfield. It was at the Society Rooms in Nicholas-street, that Thomas Maxfield-afterwards destined to make so conspicuous a figure in the history of Methodism-was first awakened, under the preaching of Mr. Wesley. He was then a stranger in Bristol, and had come to the meeting from a mere motive of curiosity, and then received those impressions which decided the course of his future life. On Mr. Wesley's first arrival in Bristol, that part of the Methodist discipline was introduced which he had adopted from the Moravians, and male and female bands were formed, as in London, that the members might meet together weekly, to confess their faults one to another, and pray one for another. The rooms in which the Societies at Bristol had hitherto met, in Nicholasstreet, Baldwin-street, and the Back-lane, were small, incommodious, and not entirely safe: they determined, therefore, to build a room large enough for all the members, and for as many of their acquaintance as might be expected to attend. Accordingly, in the month of May, Mr. Wesley, and some of the leading members of the Methodist body at Bristol, took possession of a piece of ground, near St. James's Church-yard, in the Horse Fair, and, on the 12th of May, "the first stone was laid, with the voice of praise and thanksgiving." This was the first Methodist preaching-house built in England. Mr. Wesley had not, at first, the least apprehension or design of being personally engaged, either in the expenses of the work, or in the direction of it—having appointed eleven trustees, on whom he supposed these burdens would fall; but he quickly found his mistake, on receiving letters from his friends in London, and Mr. Whitfield in particular, stating that neither he nor they would have any thing to do with the building, nor contribute anything towards it, unless he instantly discharged all the offices, and did every thing in his own name. The school at Kingswood—the building of which had not commenced

The article on the Kingswood and Bristol Tabernacles in the present number, should have appeared in our last, instead of the one, which, by an oversight, was inserted. To preserve the continuity of the narrative, we have reprinted the closing lines on page 296 of the last volume.


till the middle of June-Mr. Wesley likewise placed in the hands of trustees; but Mr. Whitfield disapproving of the plan, lest the officers should abuse their powers, to the exclusion of the Gospel, went again to Bristol in July-an embargo having been laid upon the shipping, which prevented his sailing for Georgia—and settled Mr. Wesley in full possesion of both places, by which he was himself afterwards excluded, on his return from America, when differences in doctrinal points led them one to the right hand, and the other to the left.

The news of Mr. Whitfield's intended visit to Bristol soon spread like wild-fire. At Petty France he was met by a number of friends on horseback; and, before he came within two miles of the city, the multitude increased to a very considerable amount. The people rejoiced at his coming-their hearts seemed to leap for joy, and many thanksgivings were rendered to God on his behalf. The bells rang a merry peal, and he was received as an angel of God. Some days after his arrival, he says, "Settled some affairs concerning our brethren, and had a useful conference about many things with my honoured friend, Mr. John Wesley." Respecting Kingswood, he says, "Dined to-day with my honoured fellow-labourer, Mr. Wesley, and many other friends, at Two-mill Hill, in Kingswood, and preached afterwards to several thousand people, and colliers, in the School house, which has been carried on so successfully, that the roof is ready to be put up. The design, I think, is good-old as well as young are to be instructed. A great and a visible alteration is made in the behaviour of the colliers. Instead of cursing and swearing, they are heard to sing hymns about the woods; and the rising generation, I hope, will be a generation of Christians." During this visit he preached at the Bowling-green, Hannam, Rosegreen, Baptist-mills, and other places, to immense multitudes; and, before his departure, went to the women and men's societies, settled some affairs, and united the two leading societies together." Two days after he preached his farewell sermon, at seven in the morning, to a weeping, and deeply-affected audience. "My heart," says he, was full, and I continued near two hours in prayer and preaching. The poor people shed many tears, and sent up thousands of prayers on my behalf, and would scarce let me go away. Their mites they most cheerfully contributed to the Schoolhouse at Kingswood, and proved, I think, to a demonstration, that they had not received the Word of God in vain. Blessed be God for seeing this increase of His mercy! Blessed be God for my coming hither to behold some fruits of my labours!"



Having introduced Mr. Wesley as a field preacher, at Gloucester, and other places, Mr. Whitfield embarked for America, August 14, 1732, accompanied by his friend, Mr. William Seward, who died there the year following. Soon after his departure, Mr. Charles Wesley-one of the earliest, and, certainly, not the least efficient apostles of Methodism-who was now pursuing the course of itinerant preaching which Mr. Whitfield had begun, joined his brother at Bristol. The well-known Mr. Joseph Williams, a pious dissenter of Kidderminster, having been led by curiosity, and a religious temper, to hear him preach in the fields near Bristol, thus describes his manner::-" I found him standing on a table-board, in an erect posture, with his bands and eyes lifted up to heaven in prayer: he prayed with uncommon fervour, fluency, and variety of proper expressions. He then preached about an hour, in such a manner as I scarce ever heard any man preach, though I have heard many a finer sermon-according to the common taste or acceptation of sermons-I never heard any man discover such evident signs of a vehement desire, or labour so earnestly to convince his hearers that they were all by nature in a sinful, lost, undone state. He showed how great a change a faith in Christ would produce in the whole man; and that every man who is in Christ-that is, who believes in Him unto salvation-is a new creature. Nor did he fail to press upon them how ineffectual their faith would be to justify them, unless it wrought by love, purified their hearts, and was productive of good works. With uncommon fervour he acquitted himself as an ambassador of Christ, beseeching them, in His name, and praying them, in His stead, to be reconciled to God. And, although he used no notes, nor had any thing in his hand but a Bible, yet he delivered his thoughts in a rich, copious, variety of expression, and with so much propriety, that I could not observe any thing incoherent or inanimate through the whole performance."

Mr. Williams having been long accustomed to a dry and formal manner of preaching, was the more impressed by the eloquence of one whose mind was enriched by cultivation, as well as heated with devotion. His account of the meeting in the evening is more curious. The room was thronged, and Mr. Charles Wesley continued alternately singing, praying, and expounding the Scriptures, for nearly two hours. "Never," says Mr. Williams, "did I hear such praying; never did I see or hear such evident marks of fervency in the service of God. At the close of every petition a serious amen-like a gentle rushing sound of waters-ran through the whole audience, with such a solemn air as quite distinguished it from whatever of that nature I have heard attending the responses in the church service. If there be such a thing as heavenly music upon earth, I heard it there: if there be such an enjoyment—such an attainment—as heaven upon earth, numbers in that society seemed to possess it. As for my own part, I do not remember my heart to have been so elevated in Divine love and praise as it was there, and then, for many years past, if ever; and an affecting sense and savour thereof abode in my mind many weeks after."

Mr. Whitfield had collected some money towards defraying the expenses of erecting a school for the colliers at Kingswood, and had performed the ceremony of laying the foundation; but, farther than this ceremony, it had not proceeded, when he embarked the second time for America, and left the work to be carried forward by Mr. Wesley. There was the great difficulty of want of money in the way; but this was a difficulty which faith would remove; and, in faith, Mr. Wesley began building, without having a quarter of the sum necessary for finishing it. But he found persons who were willing to advance money, if he would become responsible for the debt; the responsibility and the property thus devolved upon him, and he immediately made his will, bequeathing it to his brother Charles and Mr. Whitfield. Two masters were provided, as soon as the house was fit to receive them, and the well-known John Cennick-one of Mr. Whitfield's most popular and useful fellow-labourers, who possesed a sweet simplicity of spirit, with an ardent zeal in the cause of his Divine Master-was one of them. He was not in holy orders, but the practice of lay-preaching—which had at first been vehemently opposed by the Wesleys -had now become inevitably part of their system, and Cennick, who had great talents for popular speaking, laboured also as one of these helpers, as they were called. The societies in London and Bristol were at this time disturbed by the introduction of the Calvinistic tenets. While Mr. Whitfield, from America, was exhorting the Wesleys to forbearance from controversy, some of the leading members in London were forcing on the separation which he deprecated, and which he foresaw. John Cennick joined the Calvinistic party at Bristol and Kingswood; and, zealous for the glory of that gracious and exalted Master whom he so faithfully served, wrote urgently to Mr. Whitfield, calling upon him to hasten from America, that he might stay the plague.

No founder of a sect or order-no legislator-ever understood the art of preserving his authority more perfectly than Mr. Wesley. By a singular proceeding, the advocates of the disputed tenets were treated, not as persons who differed from him in opinion, but as culprits. This led to Mr. Cennick's withdrawinent; and about half the society followed him. At this time Mr. Whitfield was on his way from America. While upon the passage, he wrote to Charles Wesley, expostulating with him, and his brother, in strong, but affectionate terms. On reaching London, Charles Wesley was there, and their meeting was affectionate. "It would have melted any heart," says Mr. Whitfield," to have heard us weeping, after prayer, that if possible, the breach might be prevented." On his arrival, he found himself in a new and distressing situation. His congregations were scattered, and all was confusion. Mr. Wesley, however, had the advantage of Mr. Whitfield, in being in possession of the field of action while the difference was first agitated, which he took care to improve, so as to entrench himself deeply, not only in the power over the places of worship, which they had procured in concert, but also in the popular favour, by spreading terrific reports of the horrible doctrine into which Mr. Whitfield was fallen. So that, when he returned to England, he found himself turned out of doors into the open fields; and, when he attempted to preach in Moorfields, he was, at

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