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and reproofs of the Spirit of God, and with that renunciation of their own righteousness' which must precede the obtaining of that righteous‘ness which is of God by faith.'
His trouble increased. He found himself to be what our Lord calls a Stranger in the fellowship of his people. The Holy Spirit, who, by fastening one wrong act on the mind of a sinner, can, in the issue, as in the case of the Samaritan woman, convince him of all that ever he did, now showed him that in him dwelt no good thing. But, to acknowledge his state, and to take his place among those who
groaned their nature's weight to feel,” was a sacrifice as yet too great for him. He was stript of that self-complacency which had served at Bristol as a shield against all the arrows of conviction, and his distress became very great. He felt he had undertaken a work for which he was wholly unfit, and he saw no way of deliverance.
His arrival made some noise ; and he had many visiters. the number was Mr. Maxfield, who had separated from Mr. Wesley, as already related, and who occupied a chapel in the neighbourhood of Moorfields.* The ardency and strength of this gentleman's mind has been already noted. What Lady Huntingdon had said of him, when first employed in the work, must be fresh in the reader's recollection. After a short preface, he inquired, with his usual promptness, into the Doctor's own state : He seemed not to doubt of his justification (as neither did Mr. Wesley,) but inquired if he were perfected in love? The Doctor acknowledged, he had not attained that privilege. Mr. Maxfield immediately pressed it upon him with all his might; showing, in his usual strong way, that the blessing was to be received by faith, and consequently that it might and ought to be received now. The Doctor was amazed, and much embarrassed : He got off, however, from his vehemert exhorter as well as he could, informing him, that he would maturely consider what had been advanced, and make it a matter of prayer.
The Doctor did so; and an intimacy took place between them, the consequence of which was, that, through the instrumentality of that extraordinary man, the Doctor found rest unto his soul. He obtained that faith which gave his labouring conscience peace; and which, in a mind naturally so ardent, raised him up as on the wings of eagles ! He joined, from that time, in all the exercises of religion with a fervour that surprised many, and caused the people to whom he ministered to glorify God on his behalf.
He confined himself no longer to the duties of a clergyman, but took part in all the work of a regular preacher. Preaching abroad, and in all the chapels ; exḥorting all with a zeal almost equal to Maxfield himself;t instant in season and out of season,' no labours seemed too much for him,---no journeyings too fatiguing ; so that Mr. Wesley used to say, he was to him as a right hand.
* What the biographer oi Dr. Coke says of Mr. Maxfield's living at South Petherton, and of his being acquainted with the Doctor there, is, I believe, an entire mistake.
+ In this account the Reader will see much of what has been already related respecting Mr. Maxfield. See page 131.-Mr. Wesley told me, that while this very zealous man remained in connexion with him, he took care to have Dr. Jones in London at the same time with Mr. Maxfield. The one was remarkable for enforcing the fruits of faith, and the duties of the Gospel : The other for vehemently insisting on faith itself. Each had his peculiar talent; but labouring together, the people were kept in the safe path of faith and obedience. But Dr. Coke did not need any stimulus to duty. He was i zealous of good. rzorks' from the first day to the last.
That much of the “ infection of nature” (which our church, in conformity with holy Scripture, states as “remaining even in the regenerate,”) still remained in him, must not, and, indeed, cannot be denied. • The wisdom from above' was not always manifest in his zeal ; so that those who sought occasion were amply supplied with matter for declamation against him. He spared not those whom he thought lukewarm, and consequently they did not spare him. Complaints were sometimes made to Mr. Wesley against what was called his rash spirit and proceedings ; but as those complaints were generally made by those who were known to be lukewarm, or not well affected, that man of God, who would believe evil of no man, and put the best construction upon every thing, took little notice of these complaints, having generally abundant cause to be satisfied with all the Doctor's conduct, which came under his own observation, and especially with the humility and meekness with which he received every reproof or advice from his father in God.
I have no intention of giving a biography of Dr. Coke : that is already done. But I think needful to give this short sketch of this good and very zealous man's character, in order to correct the mistakes of his biographer; and chiefly, that the reader may know the real ground of those unjust censures, which Dr. Whitehead has so liberally heaped upon him, in his Life of Mr. Wesley. That Life was written to please some who were most offended with Dr. Coke ; and we may believe also, that Dr. Whitehead was not without hope, that the calumnies which he thus cast upon him would excuse the injury which he had committed against the Doctor, concerning Mr. Wesley's manuscripts.
I shall now proceed to detail the particulars concerning his being employed by Mr. Wesley in a very extensive Missionary work ;-a work which led him into his own proper element, and in which he so greatly distinguished himself, not only on the continent of America, but in the West India Islands. There he proved himself an able Minister of the New Testament towards those who, without that ministry, would have been of all men most miserable.' He thus became the zealous successor of Nathaniel Gilbert, the pious and excellent Speaker of the House of Assembly in Antigua. The labours of those men, with their able coadjutors, will, through the grace of Him who worketh all in all, be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, in the day of the Lord Jesus.'
PROGRESS OF RELIGION IN AMERICA-ORDINATION FOR THE AMERI
CAN SOCIETIES-OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.
AMERICA, unlike other empires, owes all its greatness to religion, especially North America, of which we must now speak.
In 1606, James the First erected two companies for the colonization of New England, then included under the general name of VIRGINIA. But no regular settlements were then formed ; a small trade only was carried on with the Indians. But under the violent persecutions of the Non-conformists by Archbishop Laud, many of that oppressed people
fled for refuge to New England ; and, with indefatigable and unremitted zeal, through almost every difficulty and danger that could obstruct so hazardous an undertaking, changed the face of a great tract of country from a waste wilderness to an improved and cultivated land. Many of these first settlers did undoubtedly experience the vital power of godliness, and were joined by a multitude of others, that fled from the tyranny of Charles the Second,
For some considerable time, all the holy fruits of religion were manifested among them. But, as usual, an uninterrupted flow of prosperity damped the sacred flame; and, perhaps, their wars with the Indian nations might also contribute towards it. Then appeared the same spirit among themselves, which they had so much opposed in England. The views of mankind were not sufficiently enlarged at that period, to enable them to see the importance of universal toleration to the prosperity of society. None of them seem to have had a conception, that a most perfect civil amity may be preserved among those who differ in the speculative points of 'I'heology. They, therefore, persecuted the emigrants, who, like themselves, had left their native country for a more comfortable habitation than they found at honie, but who unhappily differed from them, either in modes of worship or religious sentiments. Of these, the Quakers were the most offensive, and were inhumanly, yea cruelly, treated by them. Mercy and pure religion, inseparable companions, then forsook the land. They lost their piety; and, to say the best of them, were a flourishing, commercial people.
In 1729, the Lord raised up that eminent man, Dr. Jonathan Edwards. In his time, religion flourished again in New England. A very brief account of this revival I shall give, in his own words :
“ In the town of Northampton, in New England, after a more than ordinary licentiousness in the people, a concern for religion began to revive in 1729, but more observedly in 1733, when there was a general reformation of outward disorders, which has continued ever since.
“ About this time, I began to preach concerning Justification by faith alone. This was attended with a very remarkable blessing. Then it was that the Spirit of God began wonderfully to work among us.
А great and earnest concern about the things of God ran through all parts of the town. All talk, but of eternal things, was laid aside. The conversation in all companies, (unless so far as was necessary for the carrying on of worldly business,) was wholly upon religion.
there soon appeared a glorious alteration, so that, in 1735, the town seemed to be full of the presence of God. There were remarkable tokens of God's presence almost in
every house : Parents rejoicing over their children as new born, husbands over their wives, and wives over their husbands.
“God has also seemed to go out of his usual way in the quickness of his work. It is wonderful, that persons should be so suddenly, and yet so greatly, changed. Many have been taken from a loose and careless way of living, and seized with strong convictions of their guilt and misery; and, in a very little time, old things have passed away, and all things have become new with them."
There were many also, in New England, and among the Indians, truly converted to God, by those eminent and laborious ministers, Mr. Elliott and Mr. Brainerd.
In 1739, Mr. George Whitefield made his second visit to America,
and the Spirit of the Most High did, indeed, rest upon him. He revived that pure religion, which was so remarkable in the time of Dr. Edwards, but after his removal had decayed. Great was his zeal, and great his
"God spake the word, and great was the company of the Preachers.' The zealous Ministers raised by his labours, who were distinguished by the denomination of New Lights, became the most numerous body in New England: And, strange as it may appear, the old, wise, literary body of Presbyterians, in a Synod held among themselves, formally thrust out or excommunicated the majority ; declaring, they would have no ministerial union with such an illiterate body of men. But the real Ministers of God were not to be silenced by such means. However, this revival also was but of short duration. Formality on the one hand, and Antinomianism on the other, again recovered their ascendancy.
The States of New-York and New Jersey, the former of which was first settled by the English in 1664; and the latter, some time in the reign of Charles II, were never remarkable for religion, till they were visited by some of the members of Mr. Wesley's Societies. Being so near New England, they, indeed, partook in a small measure of its revivals, especially those under Dr. Edwards and Mr. Whitefield.
Pennsylvania, which formerly included the little State of Delaware, was possessed originally by the Dutch and Swedes; but was settled by the English in the reign of Charles the Second under the direction of that great and good man, William Penn, the Quaker. The first of these settlers, as we might naturally expect, were chiefly persons of his own persuasion ; and the Quakers make now a very considerable part of that state. They certainly had, and now have, real religion among them. The quaintness of their manners, and their ideas concerning the superior light of their dispensation, have kept them from being much known, and from being very useful. But the noble sacrifice of all their slaves, whom they have emancipated to a man, is a proof of the strong religious principle of that people.
In respect to the religion of Pennsylvania, (that of the Quakers excepted,) we can say but little in its commendation ; though it cannot be doubted, that Mr. Whitefield kindled the flame of divine love in the hearts of several individuals, during his short visits to Philadelphia.
The five States to the South of those already mentioned, viz., Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, may be considered together. The Baptists, who are numerous in some parts of these States, have been useful to thousands, both of whites and blacks. The abilities of their Ministers in general were peculiarly small; but their zeal was great, and God was pleased to own it. To this day, a considerable measure of real religion is to be found among them. Many of their Preachers having embraced the unscriptural doctrine of Universal Restitution, have introduced thereby much controversy and dissension into their church. Here and there, in that vast tract of country, from the most eastern point of Maryland to the most western point of Georgia, some Ministers were also to be found, that sprung from the labours of Mr. Wesley and Mr. Whitefield, who were zealous for the salvation of souls. The Clergy of the Church of England, in these States, in general, presented a melancholy contrast to these true Ministers of the Gospel. Notwithstanding the purity and many other excellencies of Vol. II.
their Liturgy, Articles, and Homilies, they were, with few exceptions, a disgrace to the church of God: Nor had their wretched focks, at the distance of three or four thousand miles from the source of ecclesiastical power, the least hopes of redress. But, we acknowledge, and bless God for it, that the change has been abundantly for the better, since they have been favoured with an Episcopacy of their own.
During the space of thirty years before Mr. Wesley's death, several persons, members of his Society, emigrated from England and Ireland, and settled in various parts of America. About the year 1770, Philip Embury, a Local Preacher from Ireland, began to preach in the city of New-York, and formed a Society of his own countrymen and some of the citizens. About the same time, Robert Strawbridge, another Local Preacher from Ireland, settled in Frederic county, in Maryland, and, preaching there, formed some Societies. A little before this period, Mr. Webb, a Lieutenant in the army, preached at New-York and Philadelphia with great success, and, with the assistance of his friends, erected à chapel in New-York, which was the first chapel in Mr. Wesley's connexion in America. Induced by the success he met with, and by an earnest desire of saving souls, he wrote a letter to Mr. Wesley, earnestly importuning him to send Missionaries to that Continent. Accordingly, Mr. Wesley nominated Mr. Richard Boardman and Mr. Joseph Pilmoor, as Missionaries for America, who landed at Philadelphia in 1769, and were the first Itinerant Preachers in connexion with Mr. Wesley on that Continent. A few days after their landing, Mr. Pilmoor wrote a letter to Mr. Wesley, of which the following is an extract :
“ Philadelphia, Oct. 31, 1769. " REVEREND SIR,-By the blessing of God, we are safe arrived here, after a tedious
of nine weeks. “We were not a little surprised to find Captain Webb in town, and a Society of about a hundred members, who desire to be in close connexion with you. • This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our
“I have preached several times, and the people flock to hear in multitudes. Sunday evening, I went out upon the Common. I had the stage, appointed for the horse-race, for my pulpit; and, I think, between four and five thousand hearers, who heard with attention still as night. Blessed be God for field-preaching ! When I began to talk of preaching at five o'clock in the morning, the people thought it would not answer in America: However, I resolved to try, and had a very good congregation.
“ Here seems to be a great and effectual door opening in this country, and, I hope, many souls will be gathered in. The people in general like to hear the word, and seem to have some ideas of salvation by grace.”
Mr. Boardman observes, in a letter to Mr. Wesley from New York, dated April 24, 1770 : “ Our house contains about seventeen hundred hearers. About a third part of those who attend the preaching, get in; the rest are glad to hear without. There appears such a willingness in the Americans to hear the word, as I never saw before. They have no preaching in some parts of the back settlements. I doubt not, but an effectual door will be opened among them.O may the Most High now