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God's image within themselves, in musical accents, | Addison had died in 1719, aged forty-seven. with charm of a graceful manner and fit action, while Arrived at Savannah, Whitefield took the place of none could doubt that his whole soul, full of love to Wesley, sat by the death-bed of Tomo Chachi, taught God and man, was uttering itself from his lips. there, and visited for a few days Frederica, at the Often his tears flowed and his body quivered with other end of the colony. At the end of August emotion; always he preached with power, “ like Whitefield left Savannah, with a promise to return a lion," as one said, like a prophet who does not He went home to receive priest's orders, and obtain doubt that the message he delivers is from God. money for an Orphan House. The congregation : When at last he had been moved by letters from Savannah had grown, and although he had service those men of his Oxford community who had gone twice a day, there was never a night in which the to preach in Georgia, Whitefield resolved to follow church-house was not nearly full. On the vorage them and join their work. He parted from his home, storms and contrary winds delayed the resschy friends at Gloucester, and preached in Bristol to and caused its officers to lose their reckoning. Prolarger congregations on the week-days than at other visions failed, and daily rations were reduced to an times could be gathered on Sundays. When he ounce or two of salt beef, a pint of water, and a cake went a second time to Bristol, he was met by a made of flour and skimmings of the pot. Upon this crowd a mile out of the city, led in with rejoicing, Whitefield wrote in his diary :and blessed as he passed through the street. In London, constables had to be placed at the door of
Blessed be God for these things, I rejoice in the day. churches to control the throng that pressed to hear
They are no more than what I expected, and I know thes the heavenly-minded youth. He preached for the
are preparatives for future mercies. God of His infinite charity children, and added to their funds a thousand
mercy humble and try me, till I am rightly disposed sa pounds. He was embraced in church aisles, deset
receive them. Amen, Lord Jesus, amen. for his autograph in religious books, and at his last
It pities me often to see my brethren, lying in the des, sermon in London, before he left for Georgia, the as they have done these many weeks, and exposed to sub congregation wept aloud.
straits; for God knows both their souls and bodies are desi Whitefield landed at Savannah on the 7th of May, unto me. But thanks be to God, they bear up well, ani 1738, and then wrote in his journal,
I hope we shall all now learn to endure hardships, like good
soldiers of Jesus Christ. Though we have had a long, yet it has been an exceeding
Sunday, Nov. 12.—This morning the doctor of our site pleasant voyage. God, in compassion to my weakness, has
took up the Common-Prayer Book, and observed that by sent me but few trials; and sanctified those he hath sent me.
opened upon these words, “ Blessed be the Lord God : I am now going forth as a sheep amongst wolves; but he
Israel, for He hath visited and redeemed his people." Ar! that protected Abraham when he went out not knowing
so indeed He has, for about 8 o'clock this morning 1 whither he went, will also guide and protect me; and
were brought that our men saw land, and I went and fi therefore I cannot close this part of my journal better than
joyful spectator of it myself. The air was clear, and the 3 with Mr. Addison's translation of the 23rd Psalm :
arising in full strength, so that 'tis the most pleasant dari
have seen these many weeks. Now know I that the Lii 66 The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
will not always be chiding, neither keepeth He his anger is And feed me with a shepherd's care;
ever. For these two or three days last past, I have enjoyed His presents shall my wants supply,
uncommon serenity of soul, and given up my will to Gil And guard me with a watchful eye:
And now He hath brought us deliverance. From when I My noon-day walks he shall attend,
infer, that a calmness of mind, and entire resignation to And all my midnight hours defend.
Divine will, is the best preparative for receiring diri. mercies. Lord, evermore make me thus minded!
As soon as I had taken a view of the land, we jou “When in the sultry glebe I faint,
together in a prayer and psalm of thanksgiving, and alresi' Or on the thirsty mountain pant,
began to reflect with pleasure on our late straits. Thess To fertile vales and dewy meads
will be hereafter: the storms and tempests of this treaba My weary wand'ring steps he leads;
some world will serve to render our haven of eternal is Where peaceful rivers soft and slow,
doubly agreeable. Amid the verdant landscapes flow.
The land seen was the coast of Ireland. On th “ Though in the paths of death I tread,
8th of December, 1738, George Whitefield realWith gloomy horrors overspread,
London again, and he ends the section of his journal
published in 1739, which tells these experience Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
with the following And guide me through the dreadful shade.
Shall I, for fear of feeble man,
Thy Spirit's course in me restrain ?
Or undismay'd in deed and word,
Be a true witness to my Lord ?
Awed by a mortal's frown, shall I
Conceal the Word of God most high!
For this let men revile my name,
My life, my blood I here present,
Whitefield now found that the Wesleys had been spreading their own religious fervour. They had but lately found the rest of soul which they attributed to an actual conversion of which the exact time could be assigned. Charles Wesley first attained the efficient faith that gave assurance of his justification, after a second return of pleurisy, and his bodily strength grew from the same hour. John Wesley was still weighed down by a sense of sin, until the evening of the 24th of May, when he was at a meeting in Aldersgate Street, where Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans was being read. Then Wesley writes :
Give me thy strength, O God of power!
Whitefield published in the same year (1739) a “ Continuation” of his journal “ from his Arrival in London to his Departure from thence on his way to Georgia.” This is prefaced by lines from Charles Wesley
About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed; I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation : and an assurance was given me, that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death. I began to pray with all my might for those who had in a more especial manner despitefully used me and persecuted me. I then testified openly to all there what I now first felt in my heart. But it was not long before the enemy suggested, “ This cannot be Faith, for where is thy joy?”
TO THE REVEREND MR. GEORGE WHITEFIELD.
Brother in Christ, and well belov'd,
Attend, and add thy pray'r to mine; As Aaron call’d, yet inly mov'd,
To minister in things divine.
Faithful, and often own'd of God,
Vessel of grace, by Jesus us'd; Stir up the gift on thee bestow'd,
The gift by hallow'd hands transfus'd.
Fully thy heavenly mission prove,
And make thy own election sure; Rooted in faith, and hope, and love,
Active to work, and firm t'endure.
But in the contest of mind that followed Faith prevailed. John Wesley, after his New Birth, sought evidence of the power of faith by walking on foot through Germany to the settlement of the Moravians at Herrnhut, and on the way talked with their chief, Count Zinzendorf, and his company of disciples at Marienborn. After a fortnight's stay at Herrnhut, Wesley returned to London, and found that his brother Charles had gathered about him a society of thirty-two persons, much troubled within and without by questionings. John Wesley then strengthened his brother's work. They were still firm members of the Church, even urging on the Bishop of London the propriety of the re-baptism of Dissenters. Dr. Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury at this time, in an interview with John Wesley, gave him counsel, upon the value of which he laid stress in his later years : “If you desire to be extensively useful, do not spend your time and strength in contending for or against
Scorn to contend with flesh and blood,
And trample on so mean a foe; By stronger fiends in vain withstood,
Dauntless to nobler conquests go.
Go where the darkest tempest low'rs,
Thy foes, triumphant wrestler, foil; Thrones, principalities, and powers,
Engage, o'ercome, and take the spoil.
such things as are of a disputable nature; but in This is Whitefield's record of a Sunday at Bristol testifying against open notorious vice, and in pro- nine days later :moting real, essential holiness.”
When George Whitefield, now twenty-four years Sunday, March 4.-Rose much refreshed in spirit, and gave old, returned to London, and joined in the work of my early attendants a warm exhortation as usual. Went to the Wesleys, he found opposition, was refused by Newgate, and preached with great power to an exceedingly some clergy the leave he asked to preach in their thronged congregation. Then hastened to Hannam Mount, pulpits for his Orphan House, but again stirred three miles from the city, where the colliers live altogether. thousands by his preaching. On one Sunday, after God highly favoured us in the weather. Above four thousand preaching to twelve thousand people, he spent the were ready to hear me; and God enabled me to preach with night in religious communion at a love-feast in Fetter
the demonstration of the Spirit. The ground not being high Lane till four in the morning, when he went to pray
enough, I stood upon a table, and the sight of the people who with a sick woman. Whitefield went to Oxford in
covered the green fields, and their deep attention pleased me January, 1739, to be ordained, and preached, sur
much. I hope that same Lord, who fed so many thousands rounded by attentive gownsmen of all degrees.
with bodily bread, will feed all their souls with that bread When he returned to London he read a pamphlet
which cometh down from heaven: for many came from far.
At four in the afternoon I went to the mount on Rose written against himself by a clergyman, and his
green, and preached to above fourteen thousand souls; and record on the following Sunday is—
so good was my God, that all could hear. I think it was
worth while to come many miles to see such a sight. I spoke, Sunday, January 21.-Went this morning and received the blessed be God, with great freedom; but thought all the sacrament at the hands of the minister who wrote against while, as I do continually when I ascend the mount, that me. Blessed be God, I do not feel the least resentment | hereafter I shall suffer as well as speak for my Master's sake. against, but a love for him. For I believe he has a zeal | Lord, strengthen me against that hour. Lord, I believe (0 for God, though, in my opinion, not according to knowledge. help my unbelief!) that Thy grace will be more than sufficient Oh that I could do him any good!
for me. Preached twice with great power and clearness in my voice In the evening I expounded at Baldwin Street Society, but to two thronged congregations, especially in the afternoon, could not get up to the room without the utmost difficulty, when I believe near a thousand people were in the church. | the entry and court were so much thronged. Blessed be God, yard, and hundreds more returned home that could not the number of hearers much increases; and as my day is, so come in. Thus God magnifies his power, most when most is my strength. To-night I returned home much more reopposed.
freshed in my spirits than in the morning when I went out. Expounded twice afterwards, where the people pressed I was full of joy, and longed to be dissolved, and to be with most vehemently to hear the Word. God enabled me to speak Jesus Christ; but I have a baptism first to be baptised with. with the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power, and Father, Thy will be done. This has been a Sabbath indeed the remainder of the evening filled me with a humble sense to my soul! of His infinite mercies. I think I am never more humble than when exalted. By the grace of God I am what I am. Whitefield excited like enthusiasm among the Oh that I could be thankful !
Welsh, whom he visited before his return to London
at the close of April. Open-air preaching was conIn February, Whitefield went to Bristol, and on | tinued as part of his system. He was preparing for the 17th preached his first sermon in the open air to his return to Georgia when the number of listeners colliers at Kingswood. The hearers were then up to his open-air preaching on Kennington Common wards of two hundred ; a week later he had in the and Moorfields began to be reckoned by tens of same place four or five thousand hearers. He had | thousands. On Sunday, April 29, he preached in returned at ten in the morning from a visit to Bath, the morning to a great concourse at Moortields, then and records
went to church as a worshipper, heard a sermon
against himself on the text “Be not righteous overAbout eleven, went, as usual, and preached a written
much," and then preached in the evening on Kensermon at Newgate, and collected two pounds five shillings
| nington Common to an audience of thirty thousand. for the prisoners. Jany, I believe, were much affected.
“ The wind being for me, it carried the voice to the To God be all the glory.
extremest part of the audience." I give one entry After dinner, I was taken very ill, so that I was obliged to more : lie upon the bed; but, looking upon it only as a thorn in the flesh, at three I went, according to appointment, and preached Sunday, May 6.-Preached this morning in Moorfills to to near four or five thousand people, from a mount in Kings. about twenty thousand people, who were very quiet and wood, with great power. The sun shone very bright, and the attentive, and much affected. Went to public worship mornpeople standing in such an awful manner round the mount, ing and evening; and at six preached at Kennington. But in the profoundest silence, filled me with an holy admiration. | such a sight never were my eyes blessed with before. I Blessed be God for such a plentiful harvest. Lord, do Thou believe there were no less than fifty thousand people, near send forth more labourers into thy harvest.
four-score coaches, besides great numbers of horses; and This done, God strengthened me to expound to a society what is most remarkable, there was such an awful silence without Lawford's Gate, and afterwards to another in the | amongst them, and the Word of God came with such power, city, and afterwards to a third. And I spoke with more that all, I believe, were pleasingly surprised. God gave me freedom the last time than at the first. When I am weak, great enlargement of heart. I continued my discourse for an then am I strong.
hour and a half; and when I returned home, I was filled from one another. Then followed the erection of more buildings for prayer-meetings, and their settle- || 1 When Whitefield preached to these colliers, he said, " The first ment not on trustees, which would have made the
with such love, peace, and joy, that I cannot express it. I believe this was partly owing to some opposition I met with yesterday. It is hard for men to kick against the pricks. The more they oppose, the more shall Jesus Christ be exalted. Our adversaries seem to be come to an extremity, while for want of arguments to convince, they are obliged to call out to the civil magistrate to compel me to be silent; but I be. lieve it will be difficult to prove our assemblies in the fields to be either disorderly or illegal. But they that are born after the flesh, must persecute those that are born after the Spirit. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Wesley himself as acknowledged head and director of the Christian society he had established. All orthodox Christians might join the society. Methodism did not aim at establishment of a separate church, but at the knitting of Christians into a bond of unity which should consist in the resolve really to forsake the world wherever its requirements were in conflict with known Christian duty. It was a society of men who bound themselves to help each other to form really, as far as man is able, the image of God within the soul.
The following hymn was written by John Wesley for the Kingswood colliers, to whom he preached when at Bristol :
HYMN FOR THE KINGSWOOD COLLIERS.
Glory to God, whose sovereign grace
Hath animated senseless stones, Called us to stand before His face,
And raised us into Abraham's sons.
John Wesley followed Whitefield to Bristol, where he was received and introduced by him. The physical results of the emotion caused by Wesley's preaching
-ecstasies that were always excited by him—seemed miraculous to many, and distinct manifestations of the New Birth. Wesley formed male and female bands of Christians, who were to meet weekly for prayer and confession of their faults to one another, and since a larger room than could be had was needed for the meetings of the societies, on the 12th of May, 1739, the first stone of the first Methodist meetinghouse was laid at Bristol ; but this was without any thought of separation from the services of the Established Church. The first separation was from the Moravians, between whom and Wesley differences of opinion and practice became manifest. Whitefield returned to Georgia in 1739, visited several provinces in America, preaching to great audiences, and returned in 1741. During his absence there was some correspondence between Wesley and Whitefield upon points in the doctrine of election, Whitefield holding it and Wesley not holding it in Calvinistic form. This caused them to work thenceforward apart
The people that in darkness lay,
In sin and error's deadly shade, Have seen a glorious gospel day
In Jesu's lovely face displayed.
Thou only, Lord, the work hast done,
And bared thine arm in all our sight, Hast made the reprobates thine own
And claimed the outcasts as thy right.
Thy single arm, Almighty Lord,
To us the great Salvation brought, Thy Word, thine all-creating Word,
That spake at first the World from nought.
discovery of their being affected was to see the white gutters made by
their tears, which fell plentifully down their black cheeks as they came preachers dependent on the people, but on John
" the people, but on John from their coalpits.”
And this is a hymn of Wesley's
I say, those who are called Methodists ; for let it be well
observed, that this is not a name which they take to them. ON THE ADMISSION OF ANY PERSON INTO THE
selves, but one fixed upon them by way of reproach, without
their approbation or consent. It was first given to three or SOCIETY.
four young men at Oxford by a student of Christchurch: Brother in Christ, and well beloved,
either in allusion to the ancient sect of physicians so called To Jesus and his servants dear,
(from their teaching that almost all diseases might be cured Enter and shew thyself approved,
by a specific method of diet and exercise), or from their Enter, and find that God is here.
observing a more regular method of study and behaviour
than was usual with those of their age and station. 'Scaped from the World, redeemed from sin,
I shall still rejoice (so little ambitious am I to be at the By fiends pursued, by men abhorred,
head of any sect or party) if the very name might never be Come in, poor fugitive, come in,
mentioned more, but be buried in eternal oblivion. But if And share the portion of thy Lord.
that cannot be, at least let those who will use it know the
meaning of the word they use. Let us not always be fighting Welcome from Earth!-Lo, the right hand in the dark. Come, and let us look one another in the face. Of fellowship to thee we give;
And perhaps some of you who hate what I am called, may With open arms and hearts we stand,
love what I am (by the Grace of God): or, rather what I And thee in Jesus' name receive.
follow after, if that I apprehend that for which I am also
apprehended of Christ Jesus.
1. The distinguishing marks of a Methodist are not his Then let it taste the heavenly powers,
opinions of any sort. His assenting to this or that scheme Partaker of the joys above.
of religion, his embracing any particular set of notions, his
espousing the judgment of one man or another, are all quite Jesu attend; Thyself reveal !
wide of the point. Whosoever, therefore, imagines that a Are we not met in thy great Name?
Methodist is a man of such or such an opinion, is grossly Thee in the midst we wait to feel,
ignorant of the whole affair; he mistakes the truth totally. We wait to catch the spreading flame.
We believe, indeed, that all Scripture is given by Inspiration
of God; and herein we are distinguished from Jews, Turks, Thou God, who answerest by fire,
and infidels. We believe this written Word of God to be The spirit of burning now impart,
the only and sufficient Rule, both of Christian faith and And let the flames of pure desire
practice; and herein we are fundamentally distinguished Rise from the altar of our heart.
from those of the Romish Church. We believe Christ to be
the Eternal Supreme God; and herein are we distinguished Truly our fellowship below
from the Socinians and Arians. But as to all opinions which With Thee and with our Father is :
do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let In Thee eternal life we know
think. So that whatsoever they are, whether right or And Heaven's unutterable bliss.
wrong, they are no distinguishing marks of a Methodist.
2. Neither are Words or Phrases of any sort. We do not In part we only know Thee here,
place our Religion, or any part of it, in being attached to any But wait thy coming from above,
peculiar mode of speaking, any quaint or uncommon set of And I shall then behold Thee ncar,
expressions. The most obvious, easy, common words wherein And I shall all be lost in love.
our meaning can be conveyed, we prefer before others both
on ordinary occasions and when we speak of the things of The following passages are from a tract by John God. We never, therefore, willingly or designedly deviate Wesley, printed and published at Bristol in 1747, from the most usual way of speaking, unless when we express and sold for a penny, under the title of
Scripture truths in Scripture words (which, we presume, no
Christian will condemn). Neither do we affect to use any THE CHARACTER OF A METHODIST.
particular expressions of Scripture more frequently than
others, unless they are such as are more frequently used by To the Reader.
the inspired writers themselves. So that it is as gross an Since the name first came abroad into the world, many | error to place the marks of a Methodist in his Words as in have been at a loss to know what a Methodist is: What are Opinions of any sort. the Principles and Practice of those who are commonly called 3. Nor do we desire to be distinguished by actions, customs, by that name; and what the distinguishing marks of this or usages of any indifferent nature. Our religion does not sect, which is everywhere spoken of ?
lie in doing what God has not enjoined, or abstaining from And it being generally believed that I was able to give the what He hath not forbidden. It does not lie in the form of clearest account of these things (as having been one of the our apparel, in the posture of our body, or the corering of our first to whom that name was given, and the person by whom heads; nor yet in abstaining from marriage, nor from meats the rest were supposed to be directed), I have been called and drinks, which are all good if received with thanksgiving. upon, in all manner of ways and with the utmost earnestness, Therefore, neither will any man, who knows whereof he so to do. I yield at last to the continued importunity, both affirms, fix the mark of a Methodist here; in any actions or of friends and enemies; and do now give the clearest account customs purely indifferent, undetermined by the Word of I can, in the presence of the Lord and Judge of Heaven and God. Earth, of the Principles and Practice whereby those who are | 4. Nor, lastly, is he to be distinguished by laying the whole called Methodists are distinguished from other men.
stress of religion upon any single part of it. If you say,