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In his pastoral character, Mr. Wesley acted by one rule towards all the communicants, remembering that word of St. James,-If ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin. If any one had discontinued his attend. ance at the Lord's tablo, he required him to signify his name some time the day before he intended to communicate again : And if any one had done wrong to his neighbour, so that the congregation was thereby offended, he required him openly to declare that he had repented. This rule the order of the Church of England required him to observe, and he acted by it invariably in all cases, whether the persons were rich or poor, friends or enemies. Mrs. Williamson did not conform to this established order, which must have been well known to all the communicants in so small a place. Mr. Wesley was, therefore, reduced to this alternative, either to break an order he held sacred, in her favour, and thereby incur the censure of a blameable partiality for her, after being married to another; or to repel her from the Holy Communion. Censure was inevitable, whichever way he had acted, considering the malice of her relatives. Having well considered the matter, therefore, he determined to follow the rule he had always observed, and to leave the consequences to God.

Mr. Wesley enjoyed a wonderful state of health while in America. His constitution seemed to improve under the hardships he endured, which appeared sufficient to have weakened or destroyed the strongest man. Three hundred acres having been set apart at Savannah for glebe land, he took from it what he thought sufficient for a good garden, and here he frequently worked with his own hands. He continued his custom of eating little, of sleeping less, and of leaving not a moment of his time unemployed. He exposed himself with the utmost indifference to every change of season, and to all kinds of weather. On one of these occasions he concludes, that any person might undergo the same hardship without injury, if his constitution were not impaired by the softness of a genteel education. Dr. Whitehead observes upon this : “ In all Mr. Wesley's writings, I do not know such a flagrant instance of false reasoning as this. Contrary to all the rules of logic, he draws a general conclusion from particular premises ;-but who is, at all times, in full possession of the powers of his own mind ?” Whatever becomes of the opinion, which I would not dispute with a Doctor, the logic is good, for the premises are not particular. All those whose constitutions are not thus hurt, are included. Mr. Wesley, therefore, as a logician, does not need the Doctor's apology.

Mr. Wesley and his three companions suffered great hardships in travelling from Purrysburg to Port Royal. Not being able to procure a guide, they set out an hour before sunrise without one.

The consequence was, they lost their way; and wandered in the woods till evening, without any food but part of a gingerbread cake divided among them, and without a drop of water. At night two of the company dug with their hands about three feet deep, and found water with which they were refreshed. They lay down together on the ground, (in December,) “And I, at least," says Mr. Wesley, “slept till near six in the morning.” They rose, took the rest of the gingerbread cake, and wandered on till between one and two o'clock, before they came to any house, or obtained any farther refreshment.-- December 6, after many difficulties and delays, they came to Port Royal, and the next day walked to Beaufort,

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on the opposite side of the island. Here Mr. Jones, the minister of the place, invited Mr. Wesley to his house, and gave him, as he acknowledges, a lively idea of the old English hospitality. Mr. Wesley adds, in his private Journal, “ Yet observing the elegance, and more than neatness of every thing about him, I could not but sigh to myself, and say, Heu delicatum discipulum duri Magistri !* Perhaps this remark was more in the Mystic than in the Christian style; and, to adopt the language which Mr. Wesley sometimes used, he was severely reproved for it, shortly after, being almost refused the necessaries of life.

On the 9th, Mr. Delamotte having come to him, they took boat for Charleston; but the wind being contrary, and provisions falling short, they were obliged on the 11th to land at a plantation to get some refreshment. The people were unwilling to let them have any : At length, however, they gave them some bad potatoes, "of which,” says Mr. Wesley, “ they plainly told us we robbed the swine.”—The wind continued contrary, and they in want of every thing; till about noon, on the 12th, having reached John's Island, they desired a Mr. G. to let them have a little meat or drink of any sort, either with or without price. With much difficulty, he tells us, they obtained some potatoes, and liberty to roast them in a fire his negroes had made at a distance from the house.

Mr. Wesley proceeds: “Early on Tuesday, December 13th, we came to Charleston, where I expected trials of a quite different nature and more dangerous : contempt and hunger being easy to be borne ; but who can bear respect and fulness of bread ?"t On the 16th, he parted from his faithful friend, Mr. Delamotte, from whom he had been but a few days separate since their departure from England. On the 22d, he took his leave of America, after having preached the Gospel, as he observes, in Savannah, “not as he ought, but as he was able, for one year and nearly nine months.”

“Such was the leave,” says Mr. Hampson," which our Missionary," (how respectful in a man who owed, under God, his all to him !) “ took of America.” I scruple not to say, (and I think that every reader who candidly considers the whole account, will say,) such was the treatment that a man of God received from those, whose best interests he endeavoured to promote ! But though “ clouds and darkness are around his throne," who governs the world, " yet righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his seat.” Such a burning and shining light was not to be hidden in the then uncultivated wilds of Georgia. He who had sold all for God and his truth, and who was fitted to defend that truth against all the deceivableness of the carnal mind, with all its additional weapons of vain philosophy, or worldly prudence, was called to act in a very different sphere. And though permitted by the only wise God our Saviour, to be “ sifted as wheat,” and tried in the furnace of adversity, he was preserved and brought forth as gold, which

" Returns more pure, and brings forth all its weight.” Divine Providence was about to lead him into a field of action in which every gift that God had given him, was tried to the uttermost, and“ found unto praise, and honour, and glory.

* Alas, for the delicate disciple of a Master that endured all hardness!

+ Those who have faith, and who abide therein. VOL. I.

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CHAPTER III.

MR. WESLEY'S RETURN TO ENGLAND, AND ATTAINING, WITH HIS

BROTHER, THE TRUE CHRISTIAN FAITH.

In the beginning of the following May, Mr. Whitefield arrived at Savannah, where he found some serious persons, the fruits of Mr. Wesley's ministry, glad to receive him. He had now an opportunity of inquiring upon the spot, into the circumstances of the late disputes, and bears testimony to the ill usage Mr. Wesley had received; but adds, he thought it most prudent not to repeat grievances.* When he was at Charleston, Mr. Garden acquainted him with the ill treatment Mr. Wesley had met with, and assured him, that, were the same arbitrary proceedings to commence against him, he would defend him with life and fortune.† These testimonies, of persons so respectable, and capable of knowing all the circumstances of the affair, coincide with the general tendency of the statement above given ; and, with candid persons, must do away all suspicions, with regard to the integrity of Mr. Wesley's conduct.

During his voyage to England, Mr. Wesley entered into a close and severe examination of himself, and recorded the result with the greatest openness. January 8, 1738, in the fulness of his heart he writes thus : “ By the most infallible of proofs, inward feeling, f I am convinced 1. Of unbelief; having no such faith in Christ, as will prevent my heart from being troubled.-2. Of pride, throughout my life past. inasmuch as I thought I had, what I find I have not. 3. Of gross irrecollection; inasmuch as, in a storm I cry to God every moment, in a calm, not. 4. Of levity and luxuriancy of spirit,-appearing by my speaking words not tending to edify; but most, by my manner of speaking of my

enemies. Lord, save, or I perish! Save me, 1. By such a faith as implies peace in life and death. 2. By such humility, as may fill my heart from this hour for ever with a piercing uninterrupted sense, Nihil est quod hactenus feci, that hitherto I have done nothing. 3. By such a recollection as may enable me to cry to thee, every moment. 4. By steadiness, seriousness, ouvolni, sobriety of spirit, avoiding as fire, every word tendeth not to edify, and never speaking of any who oppose me, or sin against God, without all my own sins set in array

before

my

face." January 13.-They had a thorough storm.-On the 24th, being about 160 leagues from the Land's-end, he observes, his mind was full of thought, and he wrote as follows: “I went to America to convert the Indians ; but oh! who shall convert me? Who is he that will deliver me from this evil heart of unbelief? I have a fair summer religion ; I can talk well, nay, and believe myself while no danger is near : But let * Roberts's Narrative of the Life of Mr. George Whitefield, page 56. ^ Ibid. page

58. While Mr. Wesley afterwards contended with the world for the faith, this expression was brought forward by his opponents to prove, in their way, that Mr. Wesley set inward feeling above Scripture, reason, and all evidence! By “inward feeling” he evidently means consciousness. How, otherwise, could he be convinced of his own particular state?

& He now more deeply than ever felt the want of faith, even when he was conscious that he had not wickedly departed from his God.

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death look me in the face, and my spirit is troubled. Nor can I say, • To die is gain !!

“I have a sin of fear, that when I've spun

My last thread, I shall perish on the shore !" “I think verily if the Gospel be true, I am safe-I now believe the Gospel is true. I show my faith by my works,' by staking my all upon it. I would do so again and again a thousand times, if the choice were still to make. Whoever sees me, sees I would be a Christian. Therefore are my ways not like other men's ways. Therefore I have been, I am, I am content to be, ' a by-word, a proverb of reproach. But in a storm I think, What, if the gospel be not true ; , then thou art of all men most foolish,-0 who will deliver me from this fear of death! What shall I do? Where shall I fly from it ?" The next day, Jan. 25, he took a review of his religious principles on a few important points ; and in a private paper wrote as follows:

“1. For many years I have been tossed about by various winds of doctrine. I asked long ago, 'What must I do to be saved?' The Scripture answered, keep the commandments,' believe, hope, love: follow after these tempers till thou hast fully attained, that is, till death ; by all those outward works and means which God hath appointed ; by walking as Christ walked.

“2. I was early warned against laying, as the Papists do, too much stress on outward works, or on a faith without works ; which, as it does not include, so it will never lead to true hope or charity. Nor am I sensible, that to this hour I have laid too much stress on either ; having from the very beginning valued both faith, and the means of grace, and good works, not on their own account, but, as believing God, who had appointed them, would by them bring me in due time to the mind that was in Christ.

63. But before God's time was come, I fell among some Lutheran and Calvinist authors, whose confused and indigested accounts magnified faith to such an amazing size, that it quite hid all the rest of the commandments. I did not then see, that this was the natural effect of their overgrown fear of Popery : Being so terrified with the cry of merit and good works, that they plunged at once into the other extreme.

In this labyrinth I was utterly lost; not being able to find out what the error was; nor yet to reconcile this uncouth hypothesis, either with Scripture

or common sense.

6 4. The English writers, such as Bishop Beveridge, Bishop Taylor, and Mr. Nelson, a little relieved me from these well-meaning, wrong-headed Germans. Their accounts of Christianity, I could easily see to be, in the main, consistent both with reason and Scripture. Only when they interpreted Scripture in different ways, I was often much at a loss. And again, there was one thing much insisted on in Scripture, the unity of the church, which none of them, I thought, clearly explained, or strongly inculcated.

“ 5. But it was not long before Providence brought me to those, who showed me a sure rule of interpreting Scripture ; viz. Consensus Vete

Quod ab omnibus, quod ubique, quod semper creditum.'* At the same time they sufficiently insisted upon a due regard to the one church,

* The general consent of antiquity: That which was believed in every place, by all the Churches, and at all times.

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at all times, and in all places. Nor was it long before I bent the bow too far the other way: (1.) By making antiquity a co-ordinate, rather than sub-ordinate, rule with Scripture. (2.) By admitting several

. doubtful writings, as undoubted evidences of antiquity. (3.) By extending antiquity too far, even to the middle or end of the fourth century. (4.) By believing more practices to have been universal in the ancient church, than ever were so. (5.) By not considering, that the Decrees of one Provincial Synod could bind only that Province ; and that the Decrees of a general Synod, only those provinces whose representatives met therein. (6.) By not considering, that the most of those Decrees were adapted to particular times and occasions; and consequently, when those occasions ceased, must cease to bind even those provinces.

“6. These considerations insensibly stole upon me, as I grew acquainted with the Mystic writers ; whose noble descriptions of union with God, and internal religion, made every thing else appear mean, flat, and insipid. But in truth they made good works appear so too ; yea, and faith itself, and what not ? These gave me an entire new view of religion ; nothing like any I had before. But alas ! it was nothing like that religion which Christ and his apostles lived and taught. I had a plenary dispensation from all the commands of God : the form ran thus,

Love is all ; all the commands beside, are only means of love : You must choose those which you feel are means to you, and use them as long as they are so. Thus were all the bands burst at once. And though I could never fully come into this, nor contentedly omit what God enjoined ; yet, I know not how, I fluctuated between obedience and disobedience. I had no heart, no vigour, no zeal in obeying ; continually doubting whether I was right or wrong, and never out of perplexities and entanglements. Nor can I at this hour give a distinct account, how, or when, I came a little back towards the right way: Only my present sense is this all the other enemies of Christianity are triflers : The Mystics are the most dangerous of its enemies.

They stab it in the vitals; and its most serious professors are most likely to fall by them. May I praise Him who hath snatched me out of this fire likewise, by warning all others, that it is set on fire of hell."

The censure Mr. Wesley has here passed on the Mystic writers, is too severe, as he afterwards acknowledged. What the moderate Mystics have said on the inion of the soul with God, is in general excellent, and better said by them, than by most other writers. But they do not sufficiently insist on the atonement and mediation of Christ, as the only foundation of a sinner's union with God. Nor do they in general hold the scriptural method of attaining it. The sincere, therefore, are always in bondage. Those that are not so, 66 trust in themselves that they are righteous, and despise others."

January 29, 1738.—They once more saw English land : And Feb. 1, Mr. Wesley landed at Deal; where he was informed Mr. Whitefield had sailed the day before for Georgia. He read prayers, and explained a portion of Scripture to a large company at the inn; and, on the third, arrived safe in London.

Previous to his arrival in England, he entered more fully into a close examination of himself, and “ searched out his spirit” in the light which those late remarkable providences afforded him.

The Lord had now given him abundant means of self-knowledge, and they were not lost

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