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We have thus already suggested the principle of the second reason we employ in urging on our friends the continuanoe of their support. Within the last few years, that Formalism to which what is called M:thodism stands in direct opposition, has been extensively revived. By some, its principles are avowed along with their legitimate consequences; while by others, though the consequences are feebly disavowed, the principles which lead to them are held most tenaciously : and both parties, however they may on some points differ among themselves, are agreed to regard themselves as the sole members of the Church of Christ in this country. And these excluding principles they appear resolved at all hazards to maintain, and to employ all their influence, all their power, to promote them. The enemy is now coming in like a flood. And the alternative is a solemn one. If these views are right, it is our duty to embrace them. If they are wrong, they are wrong to such an extent that it is our duty to oppose them. And, considering their friends as being perfectly agreed with them on this momentous question, the Editors of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine call on them to aid in the work of opposition. Reduced to their essential principles, Spiritual Evangelism, and Formalism,--Methodism, and Popery,--are the two great antagonist forms of professing Christianity. To the support of the first, our entire work is pledged and devoted. Every article that the Editors introduce, tends to the illustration and support of this. And, as often as seems to be necessary, painful as is the task of religious controversy, from such a one as this they dare not shrink. In the volume which is now completed, they have principally aimed at the establishment of truth ; but they trust that they have not been remiss in seeking the exposure and refutation of error. And their intention is, by the blessing of God, to walk by the same rule during the coming year. They would be glad if controversy could be avoided, --if the Press, as conducted by the several sections of the Church of Christ in this country, could be entirely devoted to the establishment of vital godliness within their respective spheres of influence, and thus, to that Union of Hearts which, eventually, will be found to be not only the sure, but the only, way to the Reconcilement of Differences. The experience of ages has proved that Uniformity is not the way to Unity. We are persuaded that were the experiment properly tried, Unity would be found the surest path to Uniformity.
The Editors trust that they are not unaware of both their general, and their particular duty; and the addition of no less than sixteen pages to each Number of the New Series which will commence in 1845, though it will increase their own labours, yet if it shall enable them more extensively to endeavour, at least, to perform their duty, and to prepare a volume in some degree suited both to the general requirements of their readers, and the particular exigencies of the times, that labour shall not be considered by them as burdensome. They earnestly request not only the consideration and support, but the prayers, of their friends and correspondents, that they may be enabled to contend, successfully, as well as earnestly, for the faith once delivered to the Saints, and still, the appointed instrument of man's salvation.
November 22d, 1844.
FOR JANUARY, 1844.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. JOHN CROSSE, A.M.,
LATE VICAR OF BRADFORD, YORKSHIRE :
BY THE REV. WILLIAM W. STAMP.
The lengthened lapse of years has but served to justify the sentiment of the venerated Wesley,--that the design of God, in raisi “the people called Methodists," was not to carry out the purposes of sect or party, but “to reform the nation, particularly the Church ; to spread scriptural holiness over the land." In the national hierarchy, the Church as by law established, this work of reformation had its rise. The first society of Methodists at Oxford were either Ministers within its pale, or candidates for ordination. The members of the first Methodist Conference were principally Clergymen of the established Church; whilst, in reference to the progress of this religious movement, the Founder of the Methodist societies confidently hoped that, roused to jealousy by the successful efforts of those “extraordinary messengers" whom, in the early Methodist Preachers, God called forth, the Clergy generally would become active and efficient instruments in carrying on the great work of Christian reformation. And though his views in these respects were only partially realized the great majority of the Ministers of the Establishment either being heedless of this work of God, or virulently opposing its progress,--there were not wanting those (a small, but noble, band) who, reviving the longneglected, yet all-important, doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, (themselves experiencing its truth and comfort,) boldly declared "the truth as it is in Jesus ;” and, in their several spheres of ministerial influence, zealously promoted the spread of Christian holiness.”
Amongst this honoured few we find the venerable Perronet, Vicar of Shoreham; Piers, of Bexley ; Grimshaw, of Haworth ; Fletcher, of Madeley ; Sellon, of Smisby, subsequently of Ledsham ; Crosse, of Bradford; and others; who, though not pursuing the same extended, and somewhat erratic, course of ministerial labour to which the Wesleys deemed themselves to be providentially called, were yet, in their more limited spheres of action, engaged in the same important work,—the revival of primitive Christianity, the reformation of the Church. These venerated men may indeed be justly designated Methodist Clergymen; VOL. XXIII. Third Series. JANUARY, 1844.
having imbibed the principles the Wesleys so zealously maintained, and acting in avowed connexion with them. “Others” also, observes Mr. Jackson, “ of the more pious and spiritual of the Clergy, were for many years the personal friends of the two Wesleys. Though some of them disapproved of the anti-Calvinistical theology of those men, and of the alleged irregularities of Methodism, yet they either corresponded with the two brothers, invited them to preach in their churches, or had frequent intercourse with them, and were unquestionably influenced by their spirit and proceedings. This was the case with Walker and Thompson, in Cornwall; Vivian, in Devonshire ; Venn, in Huddersfield ; Crooke, in Leeds and Hunslet; Ilervey, in Northamptonshire ; Jones, in Southwark; Stillingfleet, in Hotham; Jesse, in the east of Yorkshire ; Easterbrook, in Bristol ; Simpson, in Macclesfield; and many
others." Of several of these, save what appears in the records of Wesleyan Methodism, but little is known: Memoirs of early Methodist Clergymen would otherwise form an interesting accompaniment to the “Lives of early Methodist Preachers,” recently published.
The design of the present paper is to furnish your readers with some biographical notices of the late Rev. John Crosse, A. M., one of the estimable men above referred to; who, having, by means of the Methodist ministry, received the Gospel, “not in word only, but also in power, and in the IIoly Ghost,” subsequently entered the ministry of the established Church, and for upwards of thirty years held the important vicarage of Bradford, Yorkshire ; retaining, to his dying day, in connexion with exemplary fidelity and zeal, as a Clergyman of the national Church, a warm attachment to the doctrines, and Ministers, and people of Methodism.
Mr. Crosse was one of the few who rightly understood the position of Wesleyan Methodism in its relation to the Church, and to the interests of society at large; and, under the influence of Christian and enlarged views, he honoured God, and faithfully served his generation. Arminian in sentiment, and rejoicing in the spread of vital godliness, he contemplated the system of Methodism not as hostile to the interests of the Establishment, but as forming an important auxiliary to the Church itself. To the Ministers of Methodism, and indeed to good men of every
gave the hand of fellowship ; yet without any compromise of principle as a Minister of the Church, or any lessening of his zeal for its institutions and welfare. In his movements as a Clergyman the fact was pleasingly confirmed, that a friendly yet judicious recognition of Wesleyan Methodism, so far from proving injurious to the interests of the Church, directly tends to the extension of its influence. Never, it may be safely affirmed, was Church-ofEnglandism in Bradford in so flourishing a state,-never had the Church itself so strong a hold on the esteem and good-will of the
• « Centenary of Wesleyan Methodism," 8vo., pp. 277, et seg.