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July 13th. He set out for Cardiff, and on the 15th rode on with Mr. Wells, Mr. Hodges, and others, to Fonmon-Castle. Mr. C. Wesley adds, “Mr. Jones, who had sent for me, received me very courteously. He civilly apologized for the first question, which he asked me as a magistrate : * Whether I was a Papist? or, whether I was a member of the Established Church of England ? He was fully satisfied with my answers; and I found we were cotemporaries at the same college. After dinner he sent to Porthkerry, where, at his desire, Mr. Richards the minister lent me his pulpit. I preached on · God so loved the world, &c. Never hath he given me more convincing words. The flock, and their shepherd, were deeply affected. After sermon, Mr. Richards begged my pardon, for having believed the strange reports circulated concerning me. God had now spoken the contrary to his heart, and to the hearts of his people. I yielded to Mr. Jones's importunity, and agreed to delay my return to Bristol, that I might preach here once more, and spend a night at the Castle.”

July 17th. Mr. C. Wesley met Mr. and Mrs. Jones at Mr. Riche ards's, where he again preached, and in the evening went to the Castle. He adds, “We ate our bread with gladness and singleness of heart, and at seven o'clock I preached to some hundreds in the court-yard. My three brethren, the Rev. Messrs. Richards, Wells, and Hodges, stood in the midst of the people, and kneeled on the ground in prayer, and cried after the Son of David. He breathed into our souls strong desires. O! that he may confirm, increase, and satisfy them. The voice of thanksgiving was heard in this place. Before and after supper, we sang and blessed God with joyful lips. They in the parlour, and kitchen, were continually honouring Him, by offering up praise. I thought it looked like the house of faithful Abraham. The next day, July 18th, I took sweet counsel with Mr. Jones alone. The seed is sown in his heart, and, I trust, will bring forth fruit unto perfection. His wife joined us, and I commended them to the grace of God in earnest prayer, and then went on my way rejoicing.”

Mr. C. Wesley now returned to Bristol ; and on August the 3d, he preached a funeral sermon for Mrs. Peacock, who died in the Lord most triumphantly. He observes, “ She was always praising God for giving her such patience. All her desires were unto the Lord, and she continued calling upon him, in all the confidence of love, till be received her into his more immediate presence. At the sight of her coffin, my soul was moved within me, and struggled as a bird to break its cage. Some relief I found in tears ; but still was so overpowered, that, unless God had abated the vehemence of my desires, I could have had no utterance. The whole congregation partook with me in the blessedness of mourning."

His feelings were generally very strong. I have seen him thus moved, when preaching to the condemned malefactors in Newgate, a year or two before he died.

August 6th.--Coming to pray by a poor Welsh woman, she began with me, · Blessed be God that ever I heard you! Jesus, my Jesus, has heard me on a bed of sickness. He is in my heart ; He is my strength ; none shall pluck me out of his hands.. I cannot leave him, and he will not leave me. 0! do not let me ask for death, if thou wouldst have me live. I know thou canst keep me. If thou wouldst

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have me live, let me live humbly with thee all my days.'-I sat and heard her sing the new song, till even my hard heart was melted. She glorified the Saviour of the world, who would have all men to be saved. I know it,' said she, he would not have one sinner lost. Believe, and he will give you all that which he has given me.'-Surely this was the true Gospel of God our Saviour !"

On the 24th of this month Mr. C. Wesley, in company with F. Farley, paid another visit to his friends in Wales, and again in September, staying only a few days each time. Mr. Jones, of Fonmon-Castle, accompanied him in his return from the last visit ; being desirous of seeing the wonderful effects of the Gospel among the wild and ignorant colliers of Kingswood. . Thither Mr. C. Wesley took him on the 20th of September, and says, “ It was a glorious time at the Society, where God called forth his witnesses. Our guest was filled with consolation, and acknowledged that God was with us of a truth. I met the Bands, and strongly urged them to press towards the mark. I read them a letter full of threatenings to take our house by violence. We laughed our enemies to scorn : Faith saw the mountain full of horsemen and chariots of fire. Our brother from Wales was compelled to bear his testimony, and declare before all what God had done for his soul. He warned us to prepare for the storm, which would surely fall upon us, if the work went on. His artless words were greatly blessed to us all; and our hearts were bowed and warmed by the spirit of love, as the heart of one man.

“ September 22d.—Mr. Jones wished to take me to some of his great friends in the city, particularly a counsellor, about the threatened seizure of our school. I feared nothing but trusting to an arm of flesh : Our safety is, to be still. However, at his importunity, I went with him a little way, then turned back, and at last agreed to go with him to Justice C-r, the most forward of our adversaries. He received us courteously. I said, I came to wait upon him in respect to his office, having heard his name mentioned among some who were offended at the good we did to the poor colliers; that I should be sorry to give any just cause of complaint, and was willing to know if any had been made ; that many idle reports were spread, as if he should countenance the violence of those who had seized the house of Mr. C-, and now threatened to take away the colliers' school. He said it would make a good workhouse.--I caught hold of the expression, and replied, It is a workhouse already.- Ay,' said he, but what work is done there ??-I answered, We work the works of God, which man cannot hinder.—But you occasion the increase of the poor.'—Sir, you are misinformed; the reverse of that is true. None of our Society is chargeable to you ; even those who were so before they heard us, are not so now; the men who spent all their wages at the alehouse now never go there at all, but keep their money to maintain their families, and have to give to those who want.* Notorious swearers have now only the praises of God in their mouths. The good done among them is indisputable ; our worst enemies cannot deny it. No one who hears us continues either to

* When the weekly subscription of a penny was first proposed to the colliers, they were amazed at the smallness of the sum required. One of them cried out, “ A penny a week! I'll give twenty shillings.” He had that sum at home, which he knew not what to do with, and wished to give it all. They have learned from the gospel the right use of money, to the great confort of themselves

and others.

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swear or drink. "If I thought so,' he hastily replied, (in eodem luto
hæsitans,*). I would come and hear you myself. I desired he would ;
and said, the grace of God was as sufficient for him as for our colliers,
and who knew but he might be converted among us?
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gave him to understand that Mr. Jones was in the commission of the peace, who then asked him on what pretence they had seized Mr. C's house ? He utterly denied having had any hand in it, and said he should not at all concern himself.

For if what you do, you do for gain, you have your reward : If for the sake of God, he will recompense you.

I am of Gamaliel's mind, if this counsel or work be of men, it will come to nought, but if it be of God'-I proceeded, Ye cannot overthrow it, lest haply ye be found to fight against God: Follow therefore Gamaliel's advice : Take heed to yourselves, refrain from these men, and let them alone. He seemed determined so to do, and thus, through the blessing of God, we parted friends.

“ In the way home I admired the Hand which directs all our paths. In the evening, at Bristol, we found, under the word, that there is none like unto the God of Jeshurun. It was a time of sweet refreshment. Just when I had done, my brother came in from London, as if sent on purpose to be comforted together with us.' He exhorted and prayed with the congregation for another half hour. Then we went to our friend Vigor's; and, for an hour or two longer, our souls were satisfied as with marrow and fatness, while we praised God with joyful lips. Mr. C. Wesley wrote a beautiful Elegy on the death of Mr. Jones. It is printed in his Sacred Poems.

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CHAPTER IV.

PROGRESS OF RELIGION-CURIOUS QUERIES CONCERNING THE ME

THODISTS-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE METHODIST DISCIPLINE-
DEATH OF MRS. WESLEY_INTERESTING LETTER, ILLUSTRATIVE OF
HER CHARACTER.

While Mr. C. Wesley thus laboured, Mr. J. Wesley proceeded northward to Nottingham, where he preached at the market-place to an immense multitude of people. On his return to London, he read over in the way

Luther's Comment on the Epistle to the Galatians. He passes a severe sentence on Luther, for decrying Reason, right or wrong, as an enemy to the Gospel of Christ; and for speaking blasphemously of Good Works and the Law of God. Dr. Whitehead observes, “ The severity of this sentence, perhaps, arose from a misconception of the scope and design of Luther's words.”—That Luther sometimes spake incautiously, and even rashly, we may readily admit, and that his words on such occasions, may be easily understood in a sense he did not intend : which was probably the case in the passages to which Mr. Wesley refers. “ But,” he observes, “ some allowance is to be made for Luther's situation, who had to contend against what might be truly

* As if sticking in the same mud.—TERENCE.

+ This exactly accords with Mr. John Wesley's printed Journal. See his Works, vok. xxviii, page 5.

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called, the CHRISTIAN WORLD.”—And Mr. Wesley made that allow. ance : See his sermon on Salvation by Faith before the University. Luther certainly leaned, at least, to Antinomianism at one period of his life, like other excellent men, who have awaked from the Pharisaic delusion.

June 18, 1741.–Being at Oxford, Mr. Wesley inquired concerning the exercises previous to the degree of Bachelor in Divinity. And though be, certainly, was well qualified to pass through the various gradations of academical honours, yet he soon laid aside the thought of proceeding farther in them. Having visited London, he was again at Oxford in the beginning of July; and, on the 6th, being in the Collegelibrary, “ I took down,” says he, “ by mistake, the Works of Episcopius ; which opening on an account of the Synod of Dort, I believed it might be useful to read it through. But what a scene is here disclosed ? What a pity it is that the holy Synod of Trent, and that of Dort, did not sit at the same time! nearly allied as they were, not only as to the purity of doctrine, which each of them established, but also as to the spirit wherewith they acted,—if the latter did not exceed !”—Perhaps this may by some be thought too severe. That excellent man, Episcopius, would not be considered an unexceptionable judge, had not his account of that Ecclesiastical Convention received ample confirmation from the official despatches to the British Ambassador at the Hague, which were transmitted from Dort, generally twice a week, by two violent Calvinists,the famous John Hales, of Eton, and Walter Balcanqual ; the latter of whom afterwards became more moderate in his sentiments ; and the other, an avowed Arminian, and consequently a great sufferer under the Commonwealth. Nothing, therefore, can excuse the violent spirit displayed by that Synod, in its treatment of the cited persons and of the more moderate of its own members, and also in the ecclesiastical Canons which it wished to impose upon the Protestant part of Christendom. The succeeding Remonstrants, indeed, degenerated from the evangelical faith of Arminius : Not a few of them leaned to Pelagianism. This, however, was not the way to overthrow Calvinism: But the work of God, since that time, has so illustrated his word, as to enable Evangelical Truth to stand without such props.

July 15th, Mr. Wesley reached Bristol, and tells us, he came just in season : “For,"

a spirit of enthusiasm was breaking in upon many, who charged their own imaginations on the word of God, and that, not written, but impressed on their hearts. If these impressions be received as the rule of action, instead of the written word, I know nothing so wicked or absurd but we may fall into, and that without remedy."—We have here full and satisfactory evidence, that Mr. Wesley paid no regard to impressions or inward feelings, if they did not accord with the written word, by which alone we must judge of them. His belief on this subject was plainly this: 1. Without experience of present salvation from our sins, the Gospel has no saving influence on our hearts. 2. Such experience can have no existence without inward feeling ; that is, a consciousness of that salvation. 3. We must judge of the reality of our experience by the word of God, to which it will answer, as face answers to face in a glass, if it be of God; otherwise, a mere creature of our own imagination has deceived us.

The following Queries concerning the Methodists were sent, I

says he,

apprehend, from Holland or Germany. The answer to each is in Mr. Wesley's handwriting, and the date prefixed is 1741. But it must have been very early in this year, and before the separation of Mr. Wesley and Mr. Whitefield.

Quest. 1. Whether the number of the Methodists is considerable, among the students and learned men ?

Answ. The number of the Methodists is not considerable, among the students and learned men.

2. Whether at Oxford, where the Methodists first sprung up, there be still many of them among the scholars?

There are very few of them now left among the scholars at Oxford.

3. Whether they are all of one mind, and whether they have the same principles? Especially,

4. Whether those Methodists, that are still at Oxford, approve of the sentiments and actions of Mr. Whitefield and Messrs. Wesley?

They are all of the same principles with the Church of England, as laid down in her Articles and Homilies : And, 4. Do accordingly approve of the sentiments of Mr. Whitefield and Mr. Wesley, and of their publishing them elsewhere, since they have been shut out of the churches.

5. How they came to revive those doctrines, hitherto neglected by the clergy of the Church of England, of Predestination, the New Birth, and Justification by Faith alone? And,

6. Whether they have had the same from the Moravian brethren?

Predestination is not a doctrine taught by the Methodists.* But they do teach that men must be born again, and that we are saved through faith: : And, 6. The latter of these they learned from some of the Moravian brethren; the former, by reading the New Testament.

17. Whether they be orthodox in other doctrinal points, and whether they lead an unblamable Christian life?

They openly challenge all that hear them, to answer those questions, " Which of you convinceth me of sin ?" or of teaching any doctrine contrary to the Scripture ? And the general accusation against them is, that they are “righteous overmuch."

8. Whether they strictly regulate themselves according to the rule and discipline of the Moravian brethren ; except that they still keep and observe the outward worship, according to the Church of England ?

They do not regulate themselves according to the discipline of the Moravians, but of the English Church.

9. Whether they do any real good among the common people?

Very many of the common people among whom they preach, were profane swearers, and now fear an oath; were gluttons or drunkards, and are now temperate ; were whoremongers, and are now chaste; were servants of the devil, and are now servants of God.

10. Why the Bishops do not effectually inhibit them, and hinder their field and street preaching ?

The Bishops do not inhibit their field and street preaching : 1. Because there is no law in England against it. 2. Because God does not yet suffer them to do it without law.

* He means absolute Predestipation.

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