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It is our duty to provide for our of man shall be exerted, not in leading own household ; and he who does it him to the tree of the knowledge of not is pronounced, by the apostle, to good and evil, but in leading him to have is denied the faith, and to be that tree of life, the fruit of which will worse than an infidel." I have en. make him live for ever. deavoured, my brethren, to set forth From what has been said, then, it is this objection in the strongest light, that obvious, that want of leisure can be it may be examined with the greater urged only by those whose support
depends upon their daily industry; and In the first place, it is to be observed, it is equally obvious, that it derives all that this plea cannot be urged by those its force, from the established laws of who are so wealthy as to be removed society. If the worship of God were, from the necessity which it presup: by law, or usage, or the general sense poses. The leisure which such persons of duty, made a part of the business of possess, renders it their duty to devote life; if it were as customary to devote a proportionably larger part of their a particular hour to that employment, time every day to the immediate ser- as it is to devote a particular hour to vice of God: and while they devote our meals, to the exchange, the bank, so much time to recreation, an hour or the insurance office, or the custom two cannot be too long to be spent in bouse, no difficulty would exist. But a grateful acknowledgment of the bless. that is not the case, and the only ques. ings they enjoy, and of their depen. tion is, what is it our duty to do in the dence upon him from whom they derive present state of society ? life, and breath, and all things.
The answer, my brethren, must, in Nor can the plea be urged so ex- some measure, be left to the conscience tensively by woman, as it can by man. of each individual. There certainly In the fashionable circles of society, may be exigencies in which the abespecially, we see several hours, every staining from publick worship would morning, occupied in giving and re. be an act of duty. God hath declared ceiving visits. These interchanges of that he delights in mercy rather than civility, and often times of benevolence, in sacrifice. But let us be careful not are certainly not to be censured, unless to stretch this indulgence beyond its they rifle a duty. But, surely, when proper limits. “The heart,” we are so much time is to be found for atten- told in the pages of inspiration, “ is tion to our fellow mortals, is it a great deceitful above all things, and despematter to devote a portion to visiting rately wicked: who can know it?'* the temple of God? Is it a great mat. We often act from the impulse of moter to pay our homage first, to the King tives of which we are unconscious ; of kings, before we pay the tribute of and self love is so apt to tell a flattering respectful attention to our fellow mor. tale that without the practice of rigid tals ?
examination, we shall never know ourIt is honourable to the female cha. selves. It is certain that mankind are racter, that it presents so many exam- naturally averse to prayer; that it is ples of ardent piety and affectionate difficult to control our thoughts; and and persevering attendance upon the that the act of prayer is tedious to the services of the sanctuary. Happy will unsanctified spirit. When, therefore, be the time when every daughter we are disposed to urge the claims of of Israel shall be thus seen, bending worldly business, as necessarily prelow in prayer, and swelling with her venting our attendance at church, let us voice the anthem of praise. Happy inquire, whether the real cause be not will be the time when the powerful in- an unwillingness to pray, a want of fuence of woman over the affections
* Jeremiah xvii. 9.
taste for devotion, a readiness to em- son to believe, that other opportunities brace the first and the smallest excuse will be afforded; and that your loss which our invention presents, and our will be more than counterbalanced, reason is persuaded to approve. Surely under the secret operations of his go
sixty-seven hours, in the course of a vernance ? May we not believe, that 1 year, would not greatly interfere with God will not forget the love which we
its business; and if it be impossible to show to his name, when, from a sense DP attend church every time that it is open- of duty and obedience, we enter his
ed, it cannot be necessary to be for ever courts ? I believe it will be found,
It has been said that the calls of busi- that serious attention which its imporness are irregular and uncertain; that tance demands. Life, and all its purabsence from the counting-house, or the suits, however interesting they may be
office, for a few moments, may be the oc. at the present moment, are lighter than Bu
casion of much loss. It may be so; but the dust of the balance, when compared is there no reliance to be placed upon with the endless duration and ineffable divine Providence? Are we so abso- enjoyments of heaven. But your haplutely the makers of our own fortune, piness in the eternal state, depends as to be entirely independent upon the upon the preparation which you now frowns or smiles of heaven? “When make.
“ The pure in heart,” our Sathou hast eaten and art full, then thou viour tells us, “shall see God."* What,
shalt bless the Lord thy God, for the then, will be the condition of the imout good land which he bath given thee. pure ? Shall they be excluded from
Beware that thou forget not the Lord the presence of God? And will not then thy God, in not keeping his command- every Christian, under the sense of
ments, and his judgments, and his sta- this awful truth, strive to purify himtutes, which I commard thee this day: self, perfecting holiness in the fear of lest, when thou hast eaten, and art full, God? But to the purification of the and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt soul, prayer is absolutely necessary. therein ; and when thy herds and thy If you are not convinced of these locks multiply, and thy silver and thy truths, how can you profess to believe gold is multiplied, and all that thou the scriptures? And if you are conbast is multiplied; then thine heart be vinced, I entreat you to show it, by a up, and thou forget the Lord thy devout attendance upon
of God"* _" and thou say in thine heart, the church. We are now approaching My power, and the might of mine hand, the season of Lent,f which the church bath gotten me this wealth. But thou hath wisely set apart for the great purshalt remember the Lord thy God: for
poses of self-examination, self-denial, it is he that giveth thee power to get and prayer. You are not bound by 1 wealth.''t
Would it not then be a any rigid rules of outward mortification, proper act of faith and trust in bis
* Matthew y. 8. providence, to encounter the risk of
7 At the moment when this sermon is pubdevoting an hour to his service? It
lished, it is passion week ; the most solemn may be that no loss will be sustained ; of all the weeks in the year ;-that in which
but if there should be, is there no rea. our Saviour was content to be betrayed into of
the hands of wicked men, and crucified, and Deut. vii. 10–14. +[b. 17, 18. slain, for the redemption of the world. 16
ADVOCATE, VOL. II.
but are left at liberty to pursue such for its numbers and for the piety and means as will tend most to your spiritual zeal, misguided as we thiqk it, of many welfare. If then you are desirous, in of its members, we hope to promote reality, to pursue the things which the cause of truth and unity by premake for your everlasting peace, you senting some account of what this work will begin and continue the worship of contains to our readers. your God. Every day will you bless We shall first consider the grounds and praise his holy name; and when- of complaint against the biographer, ever the doors of the sanctuary are The writer before us allows that Mr. unfolded, you will not forsake the as- Southey has collected with diligence sembling of yourselves together, as the the materials of his biography, that manner of soine is, but will exhort one the work is creditable to the literary another, and consider one another, to character of the author ; that his sin. provoke unto love and to good works. cerity is unimpeachable; that he inAmen.
tended to be impartial, and that he is so candid as to have said “
praise of the character and publick useREVIEW.
fulness of Mr. Wesley than will be Observations on Southey's “Life of found in most publications of the kind
Wesley :" being a Defence of the not emanating from persons connected Character, Labours, and Opinions, of with the Wesleyan society.” But Mr. Wesley, against the Misrepre- with all these good qualities, Mr. Sousentations of that Publication. By they, in their estimation, was totally
Richard Watson. New York. 1821. unfitted, by the absence of more imporSouther's life of Wesley has excited tant characteristicks, to be the historian in all classes of the reading community, of methodism. The writer of the "Oba great deal of attention, and has gene- servations” hints, that Mr. Soutbey was rally, we believe, been considered as educated in the Socinian school, that possessing, to an uncommon degree, the be was afterwards allured farther from characteristicks of fairness and sobrie- the truth by the glare of a false philoty. The methodists, however, have sophy ; that he was both in politicks and thought otherwise At a conference religion a disorganizing jacobin; and held at Liverpool, in July, 1820, a cen- that, although he had renounced his sure was passed upon it, as unjust in former errours in both, and become a its representations of the character of supporter of government, and a proWesley, and calculated to do much in- fessed orthodox member of the church of jury to vital piety.” Mr. Watson was England, yet the old leaven has not been appointed, in consequence, to review entirely worked out, and with regard to it; and the work before us, having religion at least, “he is constantly vathus come out under the sanction of cillating between the philosopher and the whole body of the Wesleyan so- Christian.” ciety, is to be considered as expressing One sentiment which Mr. Southey their sentiments. In this view, it ac- has advanced seems to give an air of quires an importance, which, as the ve. probability to a part of this statement. hicle of individual opinion, it would Mr. Wesley's conversion is dated have had no right to claim. Whatever from Wednesday, the 24th of May, concessions it makes may fairly be 1738. Being present in the evening considered as the concessions not of Mr. of that day at a society, where one of Watson alone, but of the whole con
embly was re ing Luther's ference; and as they tend to narrow preface to the epistle to the Romans, the ground of difference between the About a quarter before nine," says church, and a society so respectable Wesley," while he was describing the
change which God works in the heart We have too favourable an opinion of through faith in Christ, I felt my heart Mr. Southey to suppose that this idea strangely warmed; I felt I did trust in of " the personification of the principle Christ, Christ alone, for salvation : of evil," was the result of deliberate and an assurance was given me, that examination. We are persuaded that be had taken away my sins, even mine, he will be among the first to acknowand saved me from the law of sin and ledge bis errour; and, when he shall death. I began to pray with all revise the work, that he will blot from ny might for those who had in a more its pages an expression which has given special manner despitefully used me, occasion more than any other to doubt and persecuted me. I then openly tes- the correctness of his theology, or the tified to all there what I now first felt perfectness of his faith. in my heart. But it was not long be- But the character of a work is not to fore the enemy suggested, This cannot be decided by a single objectionable be faith, for where is thy joy?” On expression. The writer before us has this, Mr. Southey remarks, “ How set forth indeed with a great deal of many a thought arising from that in. rhetorical exaggeration, the charges of stinctive logick which is grounded on latent infidelity, and a total absence of common sense, has been fathered upon religious feeling in the biographer; but the personified principle of evil !" The we are far from thinking that he has devil then is only a personified princi- fairly substantiated his point, or that ple of evil! This sounds very much he has convicted Mr. Southey of such like Mr. Belsham, and the improved utter incompetency. But he shall be version; and we are not at all surpris. allowed to state the grievances of which ed at the remark of bis reviewer, that he complains in his own words : “this is sufficiently indicative of Mr.
" It is much to be regretted, that no geneSouthey's religious system,” and that ral principles appear to bave been laid down " the ci-devant Socinian is suffered to by Mr. Southey, to guide him in his estimate come forth here without a vail." p. 23. of Mr. Wesley's conduct and character. He The bible tells us, in words too plain is constantly vacillating between the philosoto be refined away, that there exists pher and the Christian; but unhappily the an evil being, the enemy of man, whose dominates. The cause of every movement
tendency to philosophize most frequently prepowers of delusion, like himself, are of the soul, and of every singularity in the real; a being who, though he be spi. conduct of Mr. Wesley and his followers, is ritual, and consequently not an object eagerly sought, and abundantly laboured out, which human sense can apprehend, is and it is sure to be one purely natural. Devo nevertheless busily employed in going habits; joys and depressions into buoyancy of
tional feelings are resolved into constitutional to and fro upon the earth," seeking the spirits, and the influence of disease ; Mr. whom he may devour.” (1 Pet. v. 8.) Wesley's selection of the means of usefulness " As for those modern sadducees,' says into the impression of surrounding circumSouth, “who will believe neither angel stances; his active zeal into ambition; the
great effects of his preaching into his elonor spirit, because they cannot see them; and with whom invisible and quence, and the opportune occurrence of a ;
new contagious disease ; his enterprise into a incredible pass for terms equipollent; consciousness of his own powers; and his they would do well to consider, that as
want of clerical regularity into his natural the fowler would certainly spoil his unsubmissiveness of mind. Some of these game, should be not as much as possi- this mode of determining such questions sa
points shall be examined in the sequel; but ble keep out of sight, so the devil never vours too much of the school from which we plants his snares so successfully as trust Mr. Southey is on many great points when he conceals his person ; nor happily rescued; and it is too great a contempts men so dangerously as when he cession to the infidel and superficial philosocan persuade them that there is no
phy of the day, of the evil tendency of which,
when otherwise applied, he has a deep contempter.” (Sermons, vol. v. p. 100.) viction. This is a weapon which he knows,
or ought to know, may as easily be wielded does Mr. Southey delight to rake into the against Christianity as against methodism; corruption of our general nature, to stain the and against every distinguished character in lustre and dissipate the fragrance of the emithe annals of the church of Christ as against bent virtues of this distinguished man, as Mr. Wesley.
though those virtues must necessarily hate “ Is Mr. Southey a believer in Christiani- struck root into that corruption as their soil, ty? If so, waving for the present a minuter and have drawn from them a sickly exubeconsideration of the following points, he must rance, and a deleterious and earthly odour ? believe in the providential designation of dis- Where virtues so eminent were exhibited by tinguished characters to produce great and evidence so lofty, why has Mr. Southey, in beneficial effects upon society ;-he must be- so many instances, suffered himself to be selieve in the influence of the Holy Spirit upon duced by a paltry philosophy, which resolves the minds of men, exciting them to their du- all virtue into selfishness, or more properly ty, and assisting them in it; he must believe into vice itself; and in others determined mothat the work of renewing a corrupt heart, tives by a rule drawn from party predilecand giving real effect to the Christian minis- tions, to the neglect of those more favourable try, is the work of God, though carried on by decisions which the general Christian rule human agents ;-he is not a Christian if he would have supplied ? Mr. Southey may admits not these doctrines ; he is not a say, these were Mr. Wesley's infirmities, and churchman; his Christianity is a name, a
the best of men are not without them. But pretence: and if, in reality, he admits them, ambition, taken in the generally received They were unhappily too often absent from sense, as Mr. Southey uses the term, is not his mind, and too often confused by the lin- an infirmity. It is a vice, and is utterly ingering traces of former erring sentiments, compatible with the spirit and temper of a when he applied himself to determine the real Christian; and if he did not intend very questions which presented themselves in the greatly to lower Mr. Wesley's character by course of his late researches into methodism. the charge, as indeed it seems but fair to ac
" Another cause of the wavering and un- knowledge, this only proves, that Mr. Sousteady judgment which he forms of Mr. Wes- they has very low and inadequate notions of Jey, though far less blameable, is, that when practical Christianity itself. He either trifles be assumes something of the character of a with Mr. Wesley's character, or with reliChristian in the view of a case, it is not so gion." p. 6—10. much of a Christian generally, as of a zealous “Mr, Southey's views of the Christian advocate of the order and discipline of the ministry are as singularly defective, whether church of England. I do not blame this rule he wish to be considered a Christian, or a in subordinate cases, but it is objectionable churchman, as are his opinions on the subas a primary one. The religious character ject of providence. It would seem from these and motives of Mr. Wesley are in question, volumes, that he is no believer in the direct but surely the order and rule of any church, influence of the Holy Spirit on the heart of however excellent, are not the standard by man, though, of course, he prays for it whenwhich either can be determined. That stan. ever he attends divine service, and we hope dard is to be found in the principles of our without any softening mental periphrasis. It common Christianity. The order of a church would have read singularly, had he given us, may have been violated by an irregularity upon his own principles, a paraphrase on that which it does not allow. The fault may being moved by the Holy Ghost,' which have been in the breadth of the zeal of the every clergyman professes. It would, of individual, or in the narrowness of the rule course, have excluded all stirring of the affecwhich his zeal has violated; these are other tions in zeal for the glory of the Saviour, and considerations, and are not surely to influence compassion to the perisbing souls of men; all the judgment as to general character and mo- deep convictions of duty, and inward imtive. His Christianity must be tried by other pulses to a work which, though involving a laws, and can only be determined by the fearful responsibility, must, nevertheless, be bible itself. Modern times cannot exhibit a undertaken. This was the enthusiasm of character in which all the great and all the Wesley and Whitefield; but he forgets that graceful virtues of Christianity were more it is the enthusiasm which is embodied, and fully embodied, and, through a long life, more glows in the ordination service of the church amply realized, than in the founder of metho- of England, one of the most solemn, impresa dism. They have not presented a more sive, and holy forms, by which ministers were laborious, a more successful minister of ever dedicated to the service of the gospel. Christ. On what principle then is he cease- Equally does he exclude a divine agency in lessly charged with ambition, and the love the success of the ministry, as in the call to of power, as the leading, though sometimes it: and the effects produced by the preachthe unconscious motives of his actions? Why ing of the founders of methodism, of course,