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and be some presumption against the truth of Religion, that it represents our future and more general interest, as not secure of course, but as depending upon our behaviour, and requiring recollection and self-government to obtain it. For it might be alleged, “What you say is our condition in one respect is not in any wise of a sort with what we find by experience our condition is in another. Our whole present interest is secured to our hands, without any solicitude of ours; and why should not our future interest, if we have any such, be so too?” But since, on the contrary, thought and consideration, the voluntary denying ourselves many things which we desire, and a course of behaviour far from being always agreeable to us, are absolutely necessary to our acting even a common decent and common prudent part, so as to pass with any satisfaction through the present world, and be received upon any tolerable good terms in it: since this is the case, all presumption against self-denial and attention being necessary to secure our higher interest is removed. Had we not experience, it might, perhaps speciously, be urged, that it is improbable anything of hazard and danger should be put upon us by an Infinite Being, when everything which is hazard and danger in our manner of conception, and will end in error, confusion, and misery, is now already certain in his fore-knowledge. And indeed, why anything of hazard and danger should be put upon such frail creatures as we are, may well be thought a difficulty in speculation, and cannot but be so till we know the whole, or, however, much more of the case. But still the Constitution of Nature is as it is. Our happiness and misery are trusted to our conduct, and made to depend upon it. Somewhat, and, in many circumstances, a great deal too, is put upon us, either to do or to suffer as we choose. And all the various miseries of life, which people bring upon themselves by negligence and folly, and might have avoided by proper care, are instances of this, which miseries are beforehand just as contingent and undetermined as their conduct, and left to be determined by it. These observations are an answer to the objections against the credibility of a state of trial, as implying temptations, and real danger of miscarrying with regard to our general interest, under the moral government of God; and they shew, that if we are at all to be considered in such a capacity, and as having such an interest, the general Analogy of Providence must lead us to apprehend ourselves in danger of miscarrying, in different degrees, as to this interest, by our neglecting to act the proper part belonging to us in that capacity. For we have a present interest under the government of God which we experience here upon earth. And this interest, as it is not forced upon us, so neither is it offered to our acceptance, but to our acquisition; in such sort as that we are in danger of missing it, by means of temptations to neglect, or act contrary to it, and without attention and selfdenial, must and do miss of it. It is then perfectly credible that this may be our case with respect to that chief and final good which Religion proposes to us.
The fifth chapter continues the consideration of the state of Probation, by turning to the question how we came to be placed in it, and arguing from the Analogy of Nature that it was intended for moral discipline and improvement. The sixth chapter argues that the opinion of the Fatalist, who sees necessity in Nature, judged by the Analogy between Nature and Religion, does not warrant the opinion that there is no such thing as Religion; that if upon the supposition of freedom the evidence of Religion
be conclusive, it remains so upon the supposition of necessity. The last chapter of the First Book is related to the argument of Pope's “Essay on Man,” in showing reason from Analogy to believe that we misjudge through ignorance of the great whole, whereof we see only a part. It is “of the Government of God, considered as a Scheme or Constitution, imperfectly comprehended,” and it opens thus:—
Though it be, as it cannot but be, acknowledged, that the Analogy of Nature gives a strong credibility to the general doctrine of religion, and to the several particular things contained in it, considered as so many matters of fact; and likewise that it shows this credibility not to be destroyed by any notions of necessity: yet still, objections may be insisted upon, against the wisdom, equity, and goodness of the divine government implied in the notion of Religion, and against the method by which this government is conducted; to which objections Analogy can be no direct answer. For the credi. bility or the certain truth of a matter of fact does not immediately prove anything concerning the wisdom or goodness of it; and Analogy can do no more, immediately or directly, than show such and such things to be true or credible, considered only as matters of fact. But still, if, upon supposition of a moral constitution of nature and a moral government over it, Analogy suggests and makes it credible, that this government must be a scheme, system, or constitution of government, as distinguished from a number of single unconnected acts of distributive justice and goodness; and likewise, that it must be a scheme, so imperfectly comprehended, and of such a sort in other respects, as to afford a direct general answer to all objections against the justice and goodness of it: then Analogy is remotely of great service in answering those objections, both by suggesting the answer, and showing it to be a credible one.
Now this, upon inquiry, will be found to be the case. For, first, upon supposition that God exercises a moral government over the world, the analogy of His natural government suggests and makes it credible that His moral government must be a scheme quite beyond our comprehension; and this affords a general answer to all objections against the justice and goodness of it. And, secondly, a more distinct observation of some particular things contained in God's scheme of natural government, the like things being supposed, by analogy, to be contained in His moral government, will farther shew how little weight is to be laid upon these objections.
The Second Part of Butler's “Analogy" turns from Nature to Revelation, reasoning first of its necessity, and of the importance of Christianity, whereof natural religion is the foundation and principal part, but not in any sense the whole. The argument in the second chapter is “Of the supposed Presumption against a Revelation considered as miraculous.” Butler here gives reasons for saying,
I find no appearance of a presumption, from the Analogy of Nature, against the general scheme of Christianity, that God created and invisibly governs the world by Jesus Christ, and by Him also will hereafter judge it in righteousness, i.e., render to every one according to his works: and that good men are under the secret influence of His Spirit. Whether these things are, or are not, to be called miraculous, is, perhaps, only a question about words; or, however, is of no moment in the case. If the Analogy of Nature raises any After Wliitefield had spent a year in this way, his mother failed, and was obliged to leave the inn; but it was made over to a son who had been bred to the business, and who then married. George remained at the "Bell" as an assistant, until he found that he could not agree with his brother's wife; for that cause he left, and went to his eldest brother at Bristol. There his religious enthusiasm deepened for a time, and he resolved never again to serve in a publichouse. He kept this resolve when he returned to Gloucester, "and therefore," he says, ''my mother gave me leave, though she had but a little income, to have a bed upon the ground, and live at her house, till Providence should point out a place for me."
Having lived thus for some considerable time, a young student who was once my schoolfellow, and then a Servitor of Pembroke College, Oxford, came to pay my Mother a visit. Amongst other conversation, he told her how he had discharged all College expenses that quarter, and received a penny. Upon that my Mother immediately cried out, "That will do for my Son." Then turning to me, she said, "Will you go to Oxford, George':" I replied, " With all my heart." Whereupon, having the same friends that this young student had, my Mother, without delay, waited on them. They promised their interest to get me a Servitor's place in the same College. She then applied to my old master, who much approved of my coming to school again.
When near his seventeenth year, Wliitefield resolved to prepare himself for taking the Sacrament on Christmas Day.
I began now to be more and more watchful over nvy thoughts, words, and actions. The following Lent I fasted
Wednesday and Friday thirty-six hours together
S'ear this time I dreamed that I was to see God on Mount iinai, but was afraid to meet him. This made a great imiression upon me; and a gentlewoman to whom I told it, aid, "George, this is a Call from God."
For a twelvemonth I went on in a round of duties, reciving the Sacrament monthly, fasting frequently, attending instantly on public worship, and praying often more than vice a day in private. One of my brothers used to tell me, Ho feared this would not hold long, and that I should forget U when I came to Oxford."
At eighteen Whitefield went to Pembroke College, xford, in the desired way, a friend lending ten Kinds to pay the first expense of entering.
Soon after my admission I went and resided, and found my ving been used to a public-house was now of service to me. >r many of the Servitors being sick at my first coming up, my diligent and ready attendance I ingratiated myself :o the gentlemen's favour so far, that nnny who had it in sir power chose me to be their Servitor. This much lessened ,• expense; and indeed God was so gracious that with the 3fits of my place, and some little presents made me by my id tutor, for almost the first three years I did not put all
'relations together to above £24 expense
t now began to pray and sing psalms thrice every day, ides morning and evening, and to fast every Friday, and receive the Sacrament at a parish church near our College, 1 <it tho Castle, where the despised Methodists usud to eivo once a month.
The young men so called because they lived by Rule and Method, were then much talked of at Oxford. I had heard of and loved them beforo I camo to tho University; and so strenuously defended them when I heard them reviled by the students, that they began to think that I also in time should be one of them.
For above a twelvemonth my soul longed to bo acquainted with them, and I was strongly inclined to follow their good example, when I saw them go through a ridiculing crowd to receive the holy Sacrament at St. Mary's. At length God was pleased to open a door. It happened that a poor woman in one of the workhouses had attempted to cut her throat but was happily prevented. Upon hearing of this, and knowing that both the Mr. Wesleys were ready to every good work, I sent a poor aged apple-woman of our College to inform Mr. Charles Wesley of it, charging her not to discover who sent her. Sho went; but, contrary to my orders, told my name. He having heard of my coming to the Castle and a Parish Church Sacrament, and having met me frequently walking by myself, followed the woman when she was gone away, and sent an invitation to me by her, to come to breakfast with him the next morning.
I thankfully embraced the opportunity. He put into my hands Professor Franks' Treatise against the Fear of Man; and in a short timo let me have another book entitled "The Life of God in the Soul of Man."
At my first reading it, I wondered what the author meant by saying, " That some falsely placed Religion in going to Church, doing hurt to no one, being constant in the duties of the closet, and now and then reaching out their hands to give alms to their poor neighbours." Alas! thought I, "If this be not Religion, what is?" God soon showed me. For in reading a few lines further, that "true Religion was an Union of the Soul with God, or Christ formed within us," a ray of divine light instantaneously darted in upon my soul, and from that moment, but not till then, did I know that I must be a new creature.
Upon this I had no rest till I wrote letters to my relations, acquainting them there was such a thing as the New Birth. I imagined they would have gladly received them. But, alas! they thought that I was going beside myself, and by their letters confirmed mo in the resolutions I had taken not to go down into the country, but continue where I was, lest that by any means the good work which God had begun in my soul might be obstructed.
Charles Wesley, now become Whitefield's friend, introduced him to the rest of the Methodists. Like them he lived by rule, and sought to gather up the fragments of his time that none might be lost. He took the sacrament every Sunday at Christ Church, fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays, visited the sick and the prisoners, and made it a custom to spend an hour eveiy day in outwaid acts of charity. Then, he says,—
I daily underwent some contempt from the Collegians. Some have thrown dirt at, and others took away their pay from me. And two friends, that were very dear to me, soon grew shy of and forsook me. My inward sufferings were of
a more exercising nature God only knows how
many nights I have lain upon my bed, groaning under what I felt. Whole days and weeks have I spent lying prostrate on the ground, in silent or vocal prayer; and having nobody to shew me a better way, I thought to get peace and purity by outward austerities. Accordingly by degrees I began to leave off eating fruits and such like, and gave the money I usually spent in that way to the poor. Afterwards I always chose the worst sort of food, though my place furnished me with variety.
Then he detected spiritual pride in this kind of humility, and began to seclude himself, even from his religious friends, to leave all for Christ's sake. At last Charles Wesley came to his room, warned him of the danger he was running into if he would not take advice, "and recommended me to his brother John, Fellow of Lincoln College, as more experienced than himself. God gave me," says Whitefield, "a teachable temper; I waited upon his brother, who advised me to resume all my externals, though not to depend on them in the least, and from time to time he gave me directions as my pitiable state required."
espousals, a day to be had in everlasting remembrance. A; first my joys were like a spring tide, and as it were ovoflowri the banks. Go where I would, I could not avoid angmr d psalms almost aloud.
The buoyancy of returning health, settled again into the natural and wholesome course of life, or a Whitefield wrote, "Afterwards it became more settled, and, blessed be God, saving a few casual intervals, have abode and increased in my soul ever since."
Samuel Wesley, the elder, died in 1735, when tk» age of his son John was thirty-two, and Georp Whitefield's age was about twenty-one. After hi* father's death, John Wesley came to London u present to Queen Caroline the Dissertations upon Job, which the old gentleman had scarcely lived to finish.
Soon after this tho Lent came on, which our friends kept Tery strictly, eating no flesh during the six weeks, except on Saturdays and Sundays. I abstained frequently on Saturdays also, and ate nothing on tho other days (except on Sunday) but sage-tea without sugar, and coarse bread. I likewise constantly walked out in tho cold mornings, till part of one of my hands was quite black. This, with my continued abstinence, and inward conflicts, at length so emaciated my body, that at Passion week, finding I could scarce creep upstairs, I was obliged to inform my kind tutor of my condition, who immediately sent for a physician to me.
This caused no small triumph amongst the gownsmen, who began to cry out " What is his fasting como to now?" But, however, notwithstanding my fit of sickness continued six or seven weeks, I trust I shall have reason to bless God for it through the endless ages of eternity.
It was at the end of the seventh week from the beginning of this illness that Whitefield felt like Christian when his burden fell in presence of the Cross.
The weight of sin went off; and an abiding sense of the pardoning love of God, and a full assurance of faith broke in upon my disconsolate soul. Surely it was the day of my
To the close of his life it was a delight of Jofci Wesley when he came to London to pay a riss to the old school-buildings and playground of tfe Charterhouse, where he had been under-fed art! fagged, but not the less had left the place peoj>k*i for all his after days with happy recollections oi -• boy's life among boys. As Wesley advanced rt years and grew in spiritual life, outward austerity abated, and his gentleness of heart must have madr pleasant to the boys of a new generation these *tsional visits from an old Carthusian who was rink--great stir in the world Times had changed sia.the first old Carthusians—twenty-four monks c/ » rigid order—were settled here in a priory built up*, ground bought for interment of the plagu»-->:r., k in 1349, and in which there had actually J»«eu i fifty thousand of the victims of that memorable p»-clence. The dissolved priory, with a great house tat on its site by the Duke of Norfolk, was bought of «if Duke of Norfolk's son by Thomas Sutton, and r* founded by him in James I.'s reign as a school f* boys and a home for eighty decayed gentlemen—this country the noblest private Wnefaction of • day or any day before it. Tim history of tht- fi»* itself might join with his own boyish recollections of it in making for John Wesley a visit to Charterhouse always one incident of a return to London.
Soon after his return to London, in the year 1735, Wesley's attention was drawn very strongly to James Oglethorpe's plan of a settlement in Georgia. James, third son of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, was born in the year 1689, completed his early education at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and appears then, while still very young, to have served as a gentleman volunteer abroad, before entering the English army as an ensign in 1710. In 1714 he was Captain-Lieutenant of the first troop of the Queen's Life Guards, and afterwards he served abroad as aide-de-camp to Prince Eugene. In 1718 he returned to England, and soon afterwards, on the death of a brother, succeeded to the family estate at Westbrook, near Godalming. In October, 1722, he entered Parliament as member for Haslemere. In 1729, he began his career of beneficence as a reformer of prisons. A friend of Oglethorpe's who fell into poverty had been carried to a sponging-house attached to the Fleet Prison. While he could fee the keeper, he was allowed the liberty of the rules; when he could do so no more, he was forced into the sponginghouse, at a time when small-pox raged among its inmates. Oglethorpe's friend, an accomplished man, had never had small-pox, and pleaded for his life that he might be sent to another sponging-house, or to the jail. His petition was refused; he was forced in, caught small-pox, and died, leaving a large family in distress. The member for Haslemere then brought the subject before Parliament, obtained a Jail Committee, and was named its chairman. Painful disclosures were made in the reports of the committee, and some vigorous action was taken upon them. It is to the labour of this Jail Committee in 1729 that James Thomson referred in the following passage then added to his "Winter," a poem which had been first published in 1726, followed by "Summer" in 1727, "Spring" in 1728, and "Autumn" in 1730; when the four poems were collected as " The Seasons," and followed by the closing Hymn.1 It was then that Thomson added his tribute to the labours of Oglethorpe's Jail Committee in 1729 :—
And here can I forget the generous band,
Who, touch'd with human woe, redressive search'd
Into tho horrors of the gloomy jail,
Unpity'd, and unheard, where misery moans;
Where sickness pines; where thirst and hunger burn,
And poor misfortune feels the lash of vice?
While in the land of liberty, the land
Whose every street and public meeting glow
With open freedom, little tyrants rag'd:
Snatch'd the lean morsel from the starving mouth;
Tore from cold wintry limbs the tatter'd weed;
Even robb'd them of the last of comforts, sleep;
The free-born Briton to the dungeon chained,
Or, as the lust of cruelty prevail'd,
At pleasure mark'd him with inglorious stripes;
And crush'd out lives, by secret barbarous ways,
That for their country would have toil'd, or bled.
1 See "Shorter English Poems," pages 364, 365.
O great design! if executed well,
After such effectual following of that doctrine of Christ which had caused the Wesleys and their companions at Oxford to make prison visiting a part of the service of God,2 Oglethorpe proceeded to the enterprise that brought the Wesleys into close relation with him.
The borderland in North America between the English province of South Carolina and the Spanish province of Florida was a debatable ground on which there had been schemes for forming a new colony from England, as one of the schemes said, "in the most delightful country of the universe." Such scheming suggested to Oglethorpe a plan of his* own that he had energy and ability enough to carry out. He would form a colony on this ground, south of the Savannah River, for the restoration to social happiness and usefulness of ruined gentlemen who had in this country become poor debtors. With this object in view, Oglethorpe obtained the support of men with influence and money, and procured, in June, 1732, a charter for the settlement of the proposed colony, which was to be called Georgia, in honour of King George II. Parliament granted £10,000; and the associates who formed the corporation caused themselves to be shut out by their charter from all personal profit. All money obtained was to be applied to the maintenance, transport, and establishment of the selected colonists, on fertile land that cost them nothing and would repay abundantly their labour. A pamphlet published by James Oglethorpe to explain his scheme, thus tells who were to be
THE FIRST COLONI8TS OP GEORGIA.
Let us cast our eyes on the multitudo of unfortunate people in this kingdom, of reputable families and liberal education: some undone by guardians, somo by lawsuits, some by accidents in commerce, some by stocks and bubbles, some by suretyship; but all agree in this one circumstance that thoy must either be burthensome to their relations, or betake themselves to little shifts for sustenance which, it is ten to one, do not answer their purposes, and to which a welleducated person descends with the utmost constraint. These are the porsons that may relieve themselves and strengthen Georgia by resorting thither, and Great Britain by their departure.
I appeal to the recollection of the reader—though he be opulent, though he bo noble—doe9 not his own sphere of acquaintances furnish him with some instances of such
1 Matthew rxv. 34—45.
verse. As the time came for taking orders, his mother urged him to make religion the business of his life. He applied himself then closely to the study of divinity. The book by which he was most influenced was Jeremy Taylor's “Rules for Holy Living and Dying.” He ascribed to the influence of Jeremy Taylor the resolve to dedicate all his life to God, “all my thoughts and words and actions; being thoroughly convinced there was no medium, but that every part of my life (not some only) must either be a sacrifice to God or myself.” John Wesley, whose younger brother Charles had followed him to Christ Church, was ordained in 1725, and obtained a fellowship at Lincoln College in 1726. The change of college enabled him to break with the acquaintances at Christ Church who had ceased to be congenial, and to know none in Lincoln College but such as, he afterwards said, “I had reason to believe would help me on the way to heaven.” In his new college he was appointed Greek lecturer and moderator of the classes. There were disputations six times a week, which caused him to observe closely the process of argument, and gave him skill in the detection of fallacies. His religious feeling had deepened, and he desired seclusion for devout thought, when the growing infirmities of his father called John Wesley to Wroote to act as his father's curate. He held the curacy two years, and during this time he took priest's orders, but the conditions of his fellowship then recalled him to Lincoln College. Before his return he had been impressed by the words of a friend, who said to him, “Sir, you wish to serve God and go to heaven. Remember you cannot serve Him alone; you must therefore find companions or make them. The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.” When John returned to Oxford, he found that his younger brother Charles had already formed for him such a body of companions. Just before Charles Wesley went to Christ Church he had declined an offer of adoption by a namesake in Ireland on condition of his living with his patron. The fortune he thus lost went to the grandfather of the Duke of Wellington, who took the name of Wesley or Wellesley, and was first Earl of Mornington. Charles was of a lively temper, and when John left Oxford for Wroote he had not succeeded in bringing his brother into his own state of religious fervour. But while John was curate at Wroote, Charles at Oxford suddenly became strict in religious observances, and at once associated himself with others who agreed to live by Christian rule and take the sacrament every week. These associates were soon ridiculed as “Sacramentarians,” “Bible-moths,” the “Godly Club." One of the names given to them had been applied sometimes before in a sense like that given to “Precisian” and “Puritan,” and this was “Methodist.” John Wesley thought that the name had been given with reference to an ancient sect of physicians that had been so called. When John Wesley returned to Lincoln College, his standing at the University, his religious earnestness, and his seniority to Charles, caused him to become the leader of this new society, and he was styled by those who laughed at it, “the Father of the Holy Club.” It was a society of
about fifteen, who visited the sick and the prisoners,
fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays, practised strict examination, and strove “for a recovery of the image of God.” When, after a while, the question arose whether John Wesley should not apply for the next presentation to his father's living of Epworth, to keep the house for his mother and sisters, and take his position in the Church, his enthusiasm was already straining towards a larger field of action, and no family reasoning, however prudent, conquered his resolve to go on in the way of life to which his heart was given. John Wesley's father died in April, 1735.
Of the young Oxford Methodists who shared the enthusiasm of the Wesleys, the most famous in after years was George Whitefield, whose sketch of his own life begins with an account of the frowardness of his childhood, from the time of his birth in Gloucester in the month of December, 1714, at the Bell Inn. But, he says,
I had early some convictions of sin, and once I remember, when some persons (as they frequently did) made it their business to tease me, I immediately retired to my room, and kneeling down, with many tears, prayed over that psalm wherein David so often repeats these words, “But in the Name of the Lord will I destroy them.” I was always fond of being a Clergyman, used frequently to imitate the Ministers reading prayers, &c. Part of the money I used to steal from my parent I gave to the poor, and some books I privately took from others (for which I have since restored fourfold) I remember were books of devotion.
About the tenth year of my age, it pleased God to permit my Mother to marry a second time. It proved what the World would call an unhappy match, but God overruled it for good.
When I was about twelve, I was placed at a school called St. Mary de Crypt, in Gloucester, the last Grammar School I ever went to. Having a good elocution, and memory, I was remarked for making speeches before the corporation at their annual visitation. But I cannot say I felt any drawings of God upon my soul for a year or two, saving that I laid out some of the money that was given me on one of those forementioned occasions in buying Ken's “Manual for Winchester Scholars,” a book that had much affected me when my brother used to read it in my mother's troubles, and which, for some time after I bought it, was of great benefit to my soul.
Before he was fifteen George Whitefield asked that he might be taken from school, since he had no hope of a University education.
My mother's circumstances being much on the decline, and being tractable that way, I from time to time began to assist her occasionally in the public-house, till at length I put on my blue apron and my snuffers, washed mops, cleansed rooms, and, in one word, became a professed and common drawer.
Notwithstanding I was thus employed in a large inn, and had sometimes the care of the whole house upon my hands, yet I composed two or three sermons, and dedicated one of them in particular to my elder brother. One time I remember I was very much pressed to self-examination, and found myself very unwilling to look into my heart. Frequently I read the Bible when sitting up at night. Seeing the boys go by to school has often cut me to the heart. And a dear youth (now with God) would often come entreating me, when serving at the bar, to go to Oxford. My general answer was, “I wish I could."