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“ Much that has become characteristic of Evangelic Christianity, at the present time, had its origin in Lady Huntingdon's drawing-roomthat is to say, in the circle of which she was the centre and her house the gathering point. In a diffusive or undefined manner this religious style has pervaded the non-episcopal religious communions, where it has easily commingled itself with existing homogeneous elements. Bat within the Episcopal Church the transmission was more determinate and more sharply outlined, and it may there be traced with more precision and is pregnant with further consequences.

“ The fact of this religious transmission, which connects the venerated names of Venn, Newton, Scott, Milner, and others and we might add Porteus, Wilson, Goode, and Wilberforce)-in no very remote manner with the founders of Methodism, might, to a reader of its history, seem too conspicuous to be called in question ; nor does it very clearly appear what those manly and Christianlike feelings are which should prompt any parties at this time to repudiate it" (127).

It is a strong evidence of force of character in Lady Huntingdon, that, circumstanced as she was, she should have dared to cast in her lot with the despised Methodists; and perhaps a still stronger that, notwithstanding this, she did not lose caste among the aristocracy. But her character was perfectly simple and genuine : it was truth she sought after, and in such a character there is a moral strength, not only to keep its place, but to force its way through all impediments and disarm all opposition. She hesitated not in remonstrating with the Archbishop of Canterbury when he was acting inconsistently with the station he held in the Church, and even had frequent audiences of George 111.; and when on one occasion it was asked in the King's presence what could be done with Lady Huntingdon-- Make her a bishop, my lord (said the King) -make her a bishop."

The picture of the Established Church, at the time when Methodism arose, is drawn by Mr. Taylor in strong but not overcharged colours :

“ The Church at that time, although it had animus, had no soul and no concentration, moral or spiritual. It had slid far away from the Reformation-ground. In reply to its assailants, the Methodists, it dared not make its appeal, as they did, to the Articles and Homilies ; nor did it even retain more than a very feeble devotional sympathy with the liturgy. Scarcely at all in a religious sense, or otherwise than from motives of interest, was the aristocracy of that age attached to the Established Church : the mass of the


classes was utterly indifferent or was avowedly infidel; while, among those of rank who might be religiously disposed, more than a few were openly or implicitly connected either with Nonconformity or with Romanism. Upon this class Whitefield's preaching had made a decisive impression. As to the masses of the people, they were nearly

lost to the Church, except when a parson or a magistrate could gather them as a mob to carry some purpose of violence" (125).

Neither Wesley nor Whitefield, still less Lady Huntingdon, had any personal feeling of hostility to the Church: they hoped to infuse fresh life and vigour so as to come up to the scriptural standard of a Church, and satisfy those cravings which had been generated in their hearts by faith in the word of God and in Christ crucified, whom it is the professed object of that word to lift up that all men may be drawn unto him. It was with the greatest reluctance that they were at length forced by circumstances to separate from the Church and take an independent course ; and, before this took place, numbers of the clergy, by associating with the founders of Methodism, had imbibed principles of evangelical truth, which they carried with them into their several churches and parishes, when they could no longer hold free and familiar intercourse with their former associates :

“ Methodism was not a scheme devised by man: it was not at any moment, earlier or later, a foreseen movenient. It did, in its day, the work of God, and it possessed neither the innate powers nor the ambition to do more......... And the consequences of this revival have centred upon the Episcopal Church far more decisively and more permanently than it did upon any of the dissident bodies around it. It is the Episcopal Church that has inherited the main part of the religious animation and refreshment which has come down from that band of ordained ministers of which we are now speaking” (127).

We may not look down upon the Methodists with a supercilious Pharisaism as wanting apostolical succession and regular ordination, if they have been the instruments, in the hand of God, for infusing into our Church a larger measure of that life and spirit which apostolical succession and episcopal ordination are supposed to convey, and without which succession is a vain boast and ordination an empty form. Those are the truest successors of apostles who are actuated by the Spirit and do the work of apostles; and it is such whom Christ will own in the day of his appearing in preference to those who plume themselves on distinctions of man's devising. Heaven's own criterion is that which will be allowed in the kingdom of heaven, and will put to shame many distinctions which pass current in the world.

Methodism avowedly began in the one simple purpose of seeking to convert the ungodly, and this was the principal object which it kept steadily in view at all times. And was not this an apostolic aim? Was it not the avowed purpose of the Apostle Paul? We scarcely know one of modern times


who trod so closely in the footsteps of St. Paul as Whitefield did in this respect; for he seemed to feel a like necessity laid upon him to preach the Gospel and to be ready to say, "Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel !' When some zealots were disputing about their peculiar religious tenets, Whitefield said, “ Gentlemen, I hope you will settle these matters to your own satisfaction—my business is to preach the Gospel.” And when he had crossed the Atlantic for the last time, with a constitution broken and spent by excessive labour though only in his fiftyfifth year, and was laid upon his dying bed, he said—“ I shall be better, and preach again in a day or two”—and died. Such was Whitefield.

Wesley's object was as simple as that of Whitefield, and as steadily kept in view to the end of his career. But he was of a more calm and equable temperament, so that although his labours were scarcely inferior they did not so shorten his days, and he continued preaching the same Gospel to his eighty-eighth year. Yet neither the founders of Methodism nor their followers and successors have ever passed beyond the first elements of the Gospel. Mr. Taylor regards these elements, as preached by Methodists, to be the following :

First, it was the waking up of a consciousness towards Almighty God as being by nature in a state of condemnation, and exposed justly to the wrath and indignation of a pure and holy God, so as to feel the remembrance of our multiplied offences to be grievous and the burden of them to be intolerable. But then, how deep soever and intense for a time this awakened consciousness may be, there does not necessarily result from it any permanent spiritual renovation of the minds in which it takes place. But if there is no relapse, and if this quickening proceeds, there supervenes a deeper feeling still-a consciousness of the relationship of God, the Father of spirits, to the individual spirit, which is thus beginning to live a life divine:

“ This reflex idea is the proper consequence of that which had already taken possession of the soul ; and we find in it what we name as the second element of the Methodistic revival ” (155).

The third and principal element of the Methodistic revival was the presentation of Christ as the Mediator to speak peace to the troubled soul, and to enable the individual spirit to stand in the presence of the Father of spirits with a consciousness of acceptance through the Son of His love. While men only know God as an abstraction of holiness and power, He is an object of terror to them; and the nearer such an object is brought to them the greater is their anguish and dread. The first and second of these elements, therefore, are only calculated to drive men to despair, until the third is brought in to teach them that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We then truly know God as our Father, and experience the peace and joy of believing, and love Him who hath first loved us.

As the fourth and last element mentioned by Mr. Taylor is that of “ Evangelic Philanthropy," we give it in his own words and illustrations :

“ EVANGELIC PHILANTROPY, considered as a specific class of emotions or as a habit of the moral nature, differs in its origin, substance, and form, from all the cognate benevolent affections ; nor can it develop itself ever, except in immediate and causal connection with those impressions, and with that vivid consciousness of the mediatorial scheme which we have named as the third and the principal element of the Methodistic revival. As to the benevolent affections it may almost be said that they have been the creations of Christianity, operating as it has, in a diffused manner, upon the social system, wherever it has rooted itself among the institutions of countries. Yet what we have now in view is something essentially different from that humane impulse which expends itself in the seven works of mercy,' or any enterprises or labours which spring from the gentler sympathies of our nature, quickened and informed by the precepts and encouragements of the Gospel. In the Pauline epistles, we find an impulse of a far deeper origin and of a more refined quality, and of a less utilitarian aspect.

It is to this impulse that we have now to give attention, for it offers itself to view as a principal element also, of the early Methodism: it is the spontaneous accompaniment of that vivid evangelic feeling of which we have lately spoken. Whoever thus feels, first exults for himself as rich, indeed ; yet the consequent feeling follows so closely upon the first that the two seem one, and it is this second impulse which we assume as THE TRUE MISSIONARY RUDIMENT—the earnest, the burning, desire to make known to all men that which passeth knowledge.' It is in the writings of St. Paul, to whom the evangelic mission was specially confided, that we find-ansl scarcely at all elsewhere in the apostolic records--this which now we have in view” (185).

Christianity is a religion of facts-not of speculations and reasonings. It assumes a fact known to all men of the depravity and wretchedness of mankind : it states a fact within the reach of all-the redemption accomplished by Christ Jesus the Lord; and it presents as an object of hope the future fact, that, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, all the elect shall receive their reward together in the resurrection of the just. Thus, each person has a fact presented to him in



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which he has the greatest personal interest; and, as soon as he has made it his own, he finds that this pearl of great price for which he is willing to part with all else is not a treasure to be hoarded, but is enhanced as well as expanded by being diffused; so that the more of it he spends the richer he grows, and by winning souls adds greater glory to bis own crown, while hastening the coming of the King who bringeth His reward with Him:

“ It is precisely thus that Christianity, when it is proclaimed, not as a tissue of azure dreams, but as a fact when it is set forth as a series of transactions which is now in course, and which hereafter is to reach its conclusion—takes effective hold on the minds of men" (200).

Mr. Taylor, in the second part of his work, discusses the form and constitution of Wesleyan Methodism; for that of Whitefield scarcely took a form, and he treats of it in its aggressive or convert-making aspect, and in its instructive aspect, or as a scheme of discipline towards those whom it had gathered. He also speaks of it as a hierarchy or system of spiritual government; and as an establishment, or body corporate, related to civil law and equity. They are all interesting topics and are very ably discussed; but they are beside our purpose, which has been to give the credit which is due to the founders of Methodism for the improved tone of religious feeling in our own day as compared with what they found it.

We think that Mr. Taylor takes a very deep and philosophic view of all the questions he handles, and that the conclusions he deduces are sound and in accordance with the truth. It is this which has led us to quote so largely from him in our preceding pages, as we thought it more satisfactory to use, as far as practicable, his own words. To those who may feel an in

, terest in the second part of the volume, we can say that the several points are examined with the same penetration and the conclusions deduced with equal carefulness, and the results laid out in language as forcible and perspicuous as that employed in the former part of the volume.

Mr. Taylor has already given to the public a “ Life of Loyola," treating of Jesuitism in its rudiments with a very masterly hand : and he promises speedily a “ History of the Nonconformists " of the past age, which, taken with the work now before us, will

present three of the most remarkable phases of religion that have ever appeared. For neither of these great movements began in mere fanaticism; and the first founders in either case were unquestionably sincere and God-fearing men, who had no bye-ends to serve, but who devoted themselves in all simplicity and earnestness to what they believed to be the truth first seeking for

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