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Most perfect, most intelligent, most wife,
ug : Are truths inscrib'd by Wisdom's brightest ráy, • In characters that gild the face of day!"
Reason confess'd, (howe'er we may dispute,)
If He, Almighty! whose decree is fate,
Here paint; tfair Muse! the worship Cod requires,
For AUGUST 1796.
REASONS TOR METHODIS M.
[ Continued from page 322. ] THE Sermons are likewise delivered extempore. This method
1 of preaching appears to me, often more edifying both to the minister and the people, than the reading a formal discourse. We have by this method the simple and unadorned-language of the heart; and the preacher feeling himself more interefted in his subject, necessarily speaks with greater energy and pathos, and on this account is more likely to command the attention of his hearers. ,
It has been urged as an argument against the preaching of the Methodists, that they inculcate faith in contra-diftinction to works ; that laying aside the necessity of moral duties, they preach fala vation by faith alone ; this objection takes its rise, like many others of a similar nature, from ignorance. Now we affirm, that though works do not justify a man, yet, they afford the only evi. dence of a true faith. Genuine faith necessarily produces the pureft morality, in like manner, as a good tree cannot fail to yield good fruit. And this is the only true foundation of morality. We cannot love our neighbour as ourselves, till we believe that God hath for Chrift sake loved us. And except we have a firm and lively faith in the promises of God, we never can fulfil those conditions, on which alone. God will make good his promises to us. What induced Abraham to offer up his son Ifaac, but faith? And how should we have ever known that he possessed such strong faith, had not his works Thewn it? So it is with every true believer. He proves his fidelity to his Master, by an obedience to his commands. Let a man have a well grounded faith, and a discharge of moral duties follows of course, we can. not indeed separate them; when once the heart has experienced a real change, a reformation of life is the invariable consequence; and till this change be effected, it will be to no purpose to preach up the excellency of abstract morality. It is like telling us what is our duty, and at the same time with-holding the only means which can enable us to perform it. And though it were possible for us without divine grace to keep the commandments, yet, ftill we could not be saved by our works, and we should still come short of the glory of God. We are expressly told that “ by the VOL. XIX. August 1796.
ity.good hy in 1: Ger
deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified,” Rom. iii. 20. Gal. ii. 16. The Law came by Moses, bụt grace and truth by Jesus Chrift; and there is but one name given under heaven by which we can be saved, and that is the name of the Lord Jesus. His grace is freely offered to us, and unless we accept it, we cannot be his disciples; and if we disown him for a Saviour, we cannot expect to be partakers of that Redemption which He has purchased for all who believe in him. Besides, if we consider that without Faith it is impossible to please God, we must surely applaud the labours of those preachers who, like St. Paul, have refolved to preach nothing but JESUS CHRIST and him crucified. “ By grace we are saved through faith, faith the Apostle, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God," Eph. ii. 8. The Methodists Therefore so far from depreciating the necessity of moral obligation, are amongst its most ftrenuous and powerful advocates; they place it on the only foundation on which it can exist, and they bold faith as the strongest incentive to the practice of it..
Much severe censure has of late years been passed upon certain vehement expressions made use of in our Preaching Houses; and the people who have thus given way to their feelings, by crying aloud for mercy when they have been convinced of sin, have been made the subjects of ridicule and contempt. Before I became a Methodist, I was equally as inimical to these proceedings as any other person could be ; but when I recollect the emotions of my own mind at the time I was first converted to God, I can no longer be surprized at the same feelings in others, causing them to break out into loud and repeated ejaculations, and giving rise to such outward signs and expressions, as can only be the effect of ftrong internal agitation. When in the ordinary affairs of life we are oppressed with grief, or elated with joy, do not our counte. nance, our words, and our gestures evidently bespeak the state of our mind? And shall we wonder that a man just made sensible of his ruined condition by nature, and seeing himself guilty before God, should be so filled with terror and alarm, as to fall proftrate at the throne of grace, and pray aloud for pardon and mercy ? And on the other hand, when the finner thus awakened experiences the pardoning love of God, and feels within him the power of God unto salvation, is it matter of astonishment if such a one, awhile forgetful of the place wherein he is, break out suddenly into exclamations of praise and thanksgiving, and in the language of the Plalmist, call upon the people to give thanks unto the Lord for his goodness, to exalt him in the assembly of the elders, to serve him with gladness, and come before his prefence with thanksgiving; For he hath brought me out of darknels and the shadow of death, he hath broken my bonds asunder; he hath redeemed me from the hand of iny enemy; he hath visited me with his falvation. O! that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the chil. dren of inen! Plalms 1oo. 106, 107.