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1771.] CIRCUMSTANCES OF ST. MARY'S CHAPEL. 219
Lady Glenorchy gives up all connexion with Mr Wesley's preachers— Letters from Mr Wesley to Lady Maxwell on this subject-Lady Glenorchy's separation from the Methodists affects Lady Maxwell, but does not interrupt their mutual friendship-Extracts from Diary from February 15, to March 14, 1771-Letter from Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell-Diary continued from April 6, to May 5, 1771 -Letter from Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell-Diary continued -Lady Glenorchy goes to Taymouth-Extracts from Diary from July 7, to September 15, 1771-Lord and Lady Glenorchy leave Taymouth, and arrive at Barnton-Lord Glenorchy's sickness and death-Extracts from Diary from September 21, to November 24, 1771-Lord Glenorchy's funeral-Will-Generous act of Lord Breadalbane-Lady Glenorchy has a severe attack of fever-Extracts from Diary from February 12, to March 15, 1772.
For some weeks Mr De Courcy officiated in conjunction with Mr Wesley's preachers with great acceptance. Being, however, a decided Calvinist, the strain of his discourses must have been very different from theirs; so much so, indeed, does this appear to have been the case, that even Mr Wesley found himself called upon to disapprove of the open and pointed manner in which one of his preachers had impugned some Calvinistical points. This incongruity of doctrines was, as might have been expected, very unpleasant, and in fact injurious to Lady Glenorchy, and determined her to give up entirely all connexion with Mr Wesley's preachers. The sagacity of Mr Wesley had foreseen this, and in two letters, not written perhaps in the very best temper, he
endeavoured to prepare the mind of Lady Maxwell for the event.
The Rev. John Wesley to Lady Glenorchy.
"London, January 24, 1771.
"My dear Lady,-Although Mr M'Nab is quite clear as to justification by faith, and is in general a sound and good preacher, yet I fear he is not clear of blame in this. He is too warm and impatient of contradiction, otherwise he must be lost to all common sense, to preach against final perseverance in Scotland. From the first hour that I entered the kingdom, it was a sacred rule with me, never to preach on any controverted point-at least not in a controversial way. Any one may see, that this is only to put a sword into our enemies' hands. It is the direct way to increase all their prejudices, and to make all our labours fruitless. You will shortly have a trial of another kind. Mr De Courcy purposes to set out for Edinburgh in a few days. He was from a child a member of one of our societies in the south of Ireland. There he received remission of sins, and was for some time groaning for full redemption. But when he came to Dublin, the Philistines were upon him, and soon prevailed over him. Quickly he was convinced, that 'there is no perfection,' and that all things depend on absolute unchangeable decrees.' At first he was exceeding warm upon these heads: now he is far more calm. His natural temper, I think, is good: he is open, friendly, and generous. He has also a good understanding, and is not unacquainted with learning, though not deeply versed therein. He has no disagreeable person, a pleasing address, and is a lively, as well as a sensible preacher. Now, when you add to
TO LADY GLENORCHY.
this, that he is quite new, and very young, you may judge how he will be admired and caressed! Surely such a preacher as this never was in Edinburgh before! Mr Whitefield himself was not to compare with him! What an angel of a man! Now, how will a raw inexperienced youth be able to encounter this? If there be not the greatest of miracles to preserve him, will it not turn his brain? And may he not then do far more hurt than either Mr W- or Mr T― did? Will he not soon prevent your friend from 'going on to perfection,' or thinking of any such thing? Nay, may he not shake you also? He would; but that the God whom you serve is able to deliver you. At present, indeed, he is in an exceeding loving spirit. But will that continue long? There will be danger on the one hand if it does; there will be danger on the other if it does not. It does not appear that any great change has been wrought in our neighbours by Mr. Wh's death. He had fixed the prejudice so deep, that even he himself was not able to remove it; yet our congregations have increased exceedingly, and the work of God increases on every side. I am glad you use more exercise. It is good both for body and soul. As soon as Mr De Courcy is come, I shall be glad to hear how the prospect opens. You will then need a larger share of the wisdom from above; and I trust you will write with all openness to, my dear Lady, your ever affectionate servant,
The Rev. John Wesley to Lady Maxwell.
February 26, 1771.
"My dear Lady,-I cannot but think the chief reason of the little good done by our preachers at Edin
burgh, is the opposition which has been made by the ministers of Edinburgh, as well as by the false brethren from England. These steeled the hearts of the people against all the good impressions which might otherwise have been made, so that the same preachers by whom God has constantly wrought, not only in various parts of England, but likewise in the northern parts of Scotland, were in Edinburgh only not useless. They felt a damp upon their own spirits; they had not their usual liberty of speech; and the word they spoke seemed to rebound upon them, and not to sink into the hearts of the hearers. At my first coming I usually find something of this myself; but the second or third time of preaching, it is gone; and I feel, greater is He that is with us, than all the powers of earth and hell.
"If any one could show you, by plain Scripture and reason, a more excellent way than that you have received, you certainly would do well to receive it; and, I trust, I should do the same.
But I think it will not either that Christ did willing as well as able
be easy for any one to show us, not die for all, or that he is not to cleanse from all sin, even in the present world. If your steady adherence to these great truths be termed bigotry, yet you have no need to be ashamed. You are reproached for Christ's sake, and the Spirit of glory and of Christ shall rest upon you. Perhaps our Lord may use you to soften some of the harsh spirits, and to preserve Lady G——, or Mr De Courcy from being hurt by them. I hope to hear from you, (on whom I can depend), a frequent account of what is done near you. After you have suffered a while, may God stablish, strengthen, settle you. I am, my dear Lady, your very affectionate servant,
LADY MAXWELL HER INTENTIONS.
Lady Glenorchy, being fully aware how deeply the step she was about to take would affect Lady Maxwell, it was not till after many struggles and prayers, and then only by degrees, that she communicated to her Ladyship her intentions.
Lady Maxwell, as might be expected, was deeply affected by the communication, and it required some little time to recover from the surprise and pain which it occasioned her. Lady Glenorchy, by the prudent and cautious manner in which she finally made the separation, wisely and kindly prepared the way for this recovery. And it does infinite credit to the characters and memory of both, that what between ordinary persons would most probably have made an everlasting breach of friendship, did not divide them for an hour, and that during the whole of Lady Glenorchy's life, there never, on any occasion, appeared even the shadow of a variance between them. The extracts from the Diary and the letters which are now to follow, among other interesting occurrences in her Christian experience, give an account of this very trying event.
Friday, February 15.-This day I have often prostrated myself at a throne of grace, yet feel nothing but darkness and wretchedness in myself, and no clear views of God. This evening Mr De C began
preaching at my chapel; his prayers and sermon were good towards the end my heart began to thaw a little. I endeavoured to humble myself before the Lord, and say, Thy will be done.
Saturday, February 16.-The Lord has given me more hope to-day concerning Mr De C. This evening Lord Gwent with me to the chapel, and heard Mr T—.