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as he was going to the Kirk, with a most violent cholic, which terminated in a mortification of his bowels. The circumstances of his death are worthy to be recorded. With what pleasure did he receive the message, and depart in all the triumph of a conqueror! Crying out, My warfare is accomplished; I have fought the good fight : My victory is completed! Crowns of grace shall adorn this head, (taking off his cap,) and palms be put into these hands. Yet a little while, and I shall sing for ever.
I know that my Redeemer liveth. When he was within a few moments of his last, he gave me his hand, and a little after said, Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.' Were I to repeat half of what he spoke, I should write you three hours. It shall suffice at this time to say, that as he has lived the life, so he died the death of a Christian. We weep not for him; we weep for ourselves. I wish we may know how to improve this awful judgment, so as to be also ready, not knowing when our Lord cometh."
Mr. Adams, Minister of Falkirk, wrote thus : “ On Friday night, about ten, I witnessed Mr. Wardrobe of Bathgate's entrance into the joy of his Lord, But, ah! who can help mourning the loss to the Church of Christ? His amiable character gave him a distinguished weight and influence; which his Lord had given him to value, only for its subserviency to his honour and glory. He was suddenly taken ill on the last Lord's day, and from the first moment believed it was for death. I went to see him on Thursday evening, and heard some of the liveliest expressions of triumphant faith, and of zeal for the glory of Christ and the salvation of souls, mixed with the most amiable humility and modesty. • Yet a little while,' said he, “and this mortal shall put on immortality. Mortality shall be swallowed up of life : This vile body fashioned like to his glorious body! for the victory! I shall get the victory. I know in whom I have believed.' Then with a remarkably audible voice, lifting up his hands, he cried out, “O for a draught of the well of the water of life, that I may begin the song
off to the church triumphant! I go forth in thy name, making mention of thy righteousness, even thine only. I die at the feet of mercy.'— Then stretching out his arms, he put his hand upon his head; and with the most serene, steady, and majestic eye I ever saw, looking upwards, he said, 'Crowns of grace, crowns of grace, and palms in their hands ! O Lord God of truth, into thy hands I commend my spirit! After an unexpected revival, he said, 0, I fear his tarrying, lest the prospect become more dark! I sometimes fear he may spare me to live, and to be less faithful than he has helped me to be hitherto. He said to me, · You that are ministers, bear a proper testimony against the professors of this age, who have a form of godliness without the power. ---Observing some of his people about the bed, he said, “ May I have some seals among you! 0 where will the ungodly and sinners of Bathgate appear ? Labour to be in Christ. -Then he stretched out his hand to several, and said, Farewell, farewell! And now, O Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee !-Once or twice he said, “Let me be laid across the bed to expire, where I have sometimes prayed and sometimes meditated with pleasure.' He expressed his grateful sense of the assiduous care which Mr. Wardrobe of Cult had taken of him : And on his replying, "Too much could not be done for so valuable a life,' he said, O speak not so, or you will provoke God! Glory be to God, that I have ever had
any regard paid me, for Christ's sake!-I am greatly sunk under the event. O help by your prayers, to get the proper submission and improvement !"
The Lord was pleased, in Scotland also, to choose the foolish things of the world to carry on his work. Not only such men as Dr. Gillies, Mr. Wardrobe, and Mr. Wesley, but sometimes soldiers in quarters, or on recruiting parties, or tradesmen who went thither to get employment, were the instruments of turning many to God, who had before sought death in the error of their ways.
The first Societies were those of Musselborough and Dunbar ; many of whom, at Mr. Wesley's next visit, in the year 1757, could rejoice in God their Saviour. During this tour he preached in the open air in
every place, and remarks that he was agreeably surprised at the simplicity and teachableness of many who attended his ministry. Steadiness, indeed, he looked for in the people of North Britain ; and he rejoiced to find also those other pleasing qualities in many.
He visited Scotland again in 1761, and found the labours of the preachers were not in vain. Mr. Hopper met him at Edinburgh, where the preaching was now well attended. From thence he went to Dundee and Aberdeen. At the latter place he was treated with much respect by the Principal and other eminent persons of the University. He preached first in the college-close, and then in the hall, which was crowded even at five in the morning ! In every place some desired to unite with him, (according to the rule,) to meet together weekly, to “provoke each other to love and to good works.'
An anecdote, which, I doubt not, will be pleasing to my readers, is mentioned by Mr. Wesley on this occasion : " May 4.—About noon,' said he, “ I took a walk to the King's College in Old Aberdeen. It has three sides of a square handsomely built, not unlike Queen's College in Oxford. Going up to see the hall, we found a large company of ladies with several gentlemen. They looked, and spoke to one another ; after which one of the gentlemen took courage, and came to me.
He said, • We came last night to the college-close, but could not hear, and should be extremely obliged if you would give us a short discourse here.'- I knew not what God might have to do, and so began without delay, on God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.' I believe the word was not lost. It fell as dew on the tender grass."
The work of God now prospered much. Many were brought to the knowledge and love of God by the preaching of Mr. Roberts
and Mr. Hanby at Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen. But Satan was not idle. He made even a good man the cause of unspeakable evil. The late Mr. Hervey, of whose grateful sense of Mr. Wesley's fatherly kindness towards him, when he was his pupil at Oxford, I have inserted such strong testimonies, was persuaded by a Mr. Cudworth, an Antinomian teacher, to write a pamphlet against him. Cudworth boasted, that Mr. Hervey had permitted him “to put out, and put in, what he pleased,” in this performance. In England this tract was but little attended to, the advocates for Particular Redemption being comparatively few. But Dr. Erskine, a man greatly esteemed in Scotland, having republished it in that kingdom, with a Preface wherein he bitterly inveighed against what he called the unsoundness of Mr. Wesley's principles, caused a flood of calumny to go forth, to the hurt of many who before earnestly sought the kingdom of God.-"0," said one of the preachers then labouring in Scotland, "the precious convictions which these letters have destroyed !* Many that have often declared the great profit they received under our ministry, were by these induced to leave us. This made me mourn in secret places !" Lady Frances Gardiner, the widow of that truly Christian soldier who fell at Preston-Pans, fighting for his lawful sovereign, was one of those. A letter which she wrote to Mr. Wesley, a short time before Mr. Hervey's were published, while it does honour to the piety of the writer, is a clear proof of the evil which may arise from an immoderate attachment to systems of doctrine; which oftentimes influences the excellent of the earth, even to forsake those whom they before esteemed as angels of God. I shall give it at large.
“ EDINBURGH, July 25, 1763. “REVEREND AND VERY DEAR SIR,-I persuade myself that you
will not be displeased at my taking the liberty to write to you. You have cause to bless God for his having directed you in sending preachers to this place.
As to those of them I have heard, I have cause to thank God that they came hither. There has been a comfortable reviving of late ; some sinners are newly awakened ; some formalists have got their eyes opened ; some backsliders are recovered ; and, I believe, many saints have been much edified. Mr. Roberts's preaching has been remarkably blessed to many in Edinburgh ; and so was Mr. Hanby's, the short time he stayed. O that their sermons may be blessed whereever they preach! I verily believe, God sent them.
“I have never, I own, been at the preaching house in a morning yet, as they preach so early: But I ventured to the High School yard the morning you left Edinburgh; and it pleased God, even after I had got home, to follow part of your sermon with a blessing to me; and I think it my duty to mention, that God has often of late dealt very bountifully with me.
I be astonished at it, when I consider my own unworthiness. But I dare venture to say, that Christ and all with Christ is mine. I beg a share in your prayers ; and am, very dear Sir,
“ Your Sister in Christ Jesus,
“ FRANCES GARDINER." But many waters cannot quench love. Those who sought not their own things, but the things of Christ,' redoubled their efforts. Very soon after those bitter waters were let out, Mr. Thomas Taylor visited Glasgow, and for several weeks together preached in the open air. As the winter came on, his difficulties were great : but he continued daily to
* It is well known, that these Letters of Mr. Hervey were a posthumous publication ; and it was also known to the intimate friends of that pious man, that on his deathbed he charged his brother, who was his executor, that they should not be published. The brother, however, was not of Mr. Hervey's mind, and knowing that those letters would have a wide circulation, he gave them to the public. Some time after, this brother having fallen into a snare by lending money, to the amount of one thousand pounds, to an artful man, he was prosecuted for taking more than the legal interest, and the penalty of thrice the sum was recovered. Mr. Blackwell, the Banker, an intimate and warm friend of Mr. Wesley, and who for his plain honesty was called " the rough diamond," was Mr. Hervey's Banker. Upon that gentleman expressing his surprise, that he should be so entrapped, Mr. Blackwell replied, " Mr. Hervey, I will tell you the reason. You know, your brother ordered you to destroy those letters against Mr. Wesley. But you thought they would be productive, and you published them. The business is now settled, and you may count your gains !"--We see there were other persons beside Mr. Wesley, who believed in a particular and remunerative providence.
testify repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. At length he saw fruit of his labour. Some turned to God, and acknowledged his messenger. A place was then provided for him in which to preach, and the little Society was soon increased to seventy persons.
The preachers now penetrated into the Highlands; and, at his next visit, Mr. Wesley preached at Inverness. All in this place seemed to hear him gladly, and a Society was afterwards formed, which continues to this day. On his return to Edinburgh, finding it was the time of celebrating the Lord's Supper, he laid aside his last portion of bigotry, and partook of that holy ordinance at the West Kirk!
But though of a truly catholic spirit, he was firm to his own principles. He abhorred that speculative Latitudinarianism, that indifference to all opinions, which some men have applauded as true liberality. He knew, God had given us a standard of truth; and that nothing was indifferent, which was found therein. On this subject he used great plainness of speech ; an instance of which he soon after gave to the same people with whom he had communicated.
“The sum,” he observes, " of what I spoke was this: “I love plain dealing. Do not you? I will use it now. Bear with me.
“ I hang out no false colours, but show you all I am, all I intend, all I do.
“I am a member of the Church of England, but I love good men of every Church.
My ground is, the Bible. Yea, I am a Bible-bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small.
“ Therefore, 1. I always use a short, private prayer, when I attend the public service of God.* Do not you? Why do you not? Is no this according to the Bible ?
“2. I stand, whenever I sing the praises of God in public. Does not the Bible give you plain precedents for this ?
"3. I always kneel before the Lord my Maker, when I pray in public.
“4. I generally in public use the Lord's Prayer; because Christ has taught me, When I pray, to say
“I advise every preacher connected with me, whether in England, or Scotland, herein to tread in my steps."
The reader will recollect the observation of Mr. Gambold, that “faith was looked upon as a downright robber” by those who had accumulated a stock of religion, which might be truly called their own. In Scotland, this remark has often been realized. This robber has especially been exclaimed against as troubling the disciples of the Geneva creed; which has been generally so mixed with politics as to betray its earthly origin. Mr. Wesley knew, that many in Scotland, who were truly pious, had received that creed from their infancy, had associated it with their gracious helps and comforts, and also reverenced it as the established orthodoxy. He therefore abstained from the controversies so common in that day, and enforced the faith,' that alone • overcometh the world, and worketh by love ;'-so highly needful for those devout pupils of tradition. This was interpreted as deception, Jesuitism, &c, by those professors of religion who were fond of controversy, and of whom Dr.
* The generality of the people in Scotland used to come into the kirk, and sit down, as in any common house, VOL. II.
Erskine now became the champion. It is well for the reputation of the great Apostle, that those flowers of polemic oratory must not be lavished upon him. What a fair mark has he given to the adepts in that kind of warfare, by his
open declaration respecting bis own views and conduct! 1 Cor. ix, 20–23. • The love that thinketh no evil' sees in all this the wisdom from above,
,** James iii, 17. But to others who do not see through that medium, it is all art, policy, and deception !
Sir Henry Moncreiff Wellwood, Bart., D.D., in his Life of Dr., Erskine, lately published, has revived this stale controversy concerning Mr. Hervey's letters, and, with the aid of Bishop Warburton's old scurrility, he would make out a fresh case against the Methodist faith. But this also comes a little too late. The personal righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, as imputed to us for our justification, which was the fond opinion of Mr. Hervey, is now exploded by the pious Calvinists, as manifestly precluding the necessity of a Divine Atonement, and opening a wide door to Antinomianism. The very respectable biographer of Dr. Erskine has laboured to establish this faith ; but it will not stand against the faith which
Lays the rough paths of peevish nature even,
And opens in each breast a little heaven. The first Quakers attacked the swelling words of the professors of that day in a concise but forcible manner :- Friend, thou speakest great things. But is Christ in thee? If not, thou art a reprobate, with all thy talk.” Many a Goliah in orthodoxy was felled with this stone, taken out of the brook of truth.--A writer in a periodical publication, strangely called " The Christian Instructer,” has laboured hard to support Sir Henry's cause ; but so ignorant is that writer of the common facts needful to be known respecting this controversy, that he names Mr. Charles Wesley, who never was in Scotland, and who never wrote on the subject, as the grand troubler of their Israel !- It should also be noted, that neither Mr. Wesley's Answer, nor the Rev. Walter Sellon's Reply to these Eleven Letters, is mentioned in this renewed controversy.
Dr. Whitehead observes, “ The preachers met with no riotous mobs to oppose
their progress in Scotland. Here, all ranks and orders of the people, from the highest to the lowest, had long been remarkable for a decent regard to religion, and respect for the ministerial character :" A consequence of that power of religion which once rested on that nation. But the preachers soon found, that they had prejudices to contend against more difficult to be overcome than the violence of a mob. They found the Scots strongly intrenched within the lines of religious opinions and modes of worship, which almost bade defiance to any mode of attack. Their success was therefore small, when compared with what they had experienced in England and Ireland, where their lives had often been in danger from the mob. Mr. Wesley, however, in his stated journeys through Scotland, every where met with the most flattering marks of respect; both from the nobility, (who often invited him to take their houses in his way,) from many of the established ministers, and from the magistrates of the cities. In April this year, (1772,) being on his biennial visit to Scotland, he came to Perth, where the magis
* See the liberal and pious sentiments of Mr. Robe, and Mr. Erskine, pages 57-59. + See the note in page 30.