« AnteriorContinuar »
ON THE SUCCESS OF THE ASSOCIATION.
To the Editor,—Dear Sir. The writer of the annexed was an early associate and a highly esteemed friend of the incomparable Dr. Adam Clarke. The sentiments it contains are too valuable, for posterity, to be lost; and, especially as coming from one of the oldest members of the olden-body. I trust the opinions given and the counsel afforded, will not be altogether lost sight of by the present, nor by future members of the Wesleyan Association family. May none grow weary or faint in their minds,-knowing that in due time we shall reap if we follow on in the glorious work of the Lord that of seeking to save souls from death, in avoiding Priestism, and by working together for the advancement of His kingdom, whose throne and reign is to be everlasting.
I am delighted in bearing testimony to the increasing satisfaction afforded to the readers of the Association Magazine, by your personal exertions in raising it to such an acceptable standard. March 17, 1842.
T. P. R.
MY DEAR SIR, I am perfectly satisfied in my own mind, that the cause of Wesleyan Reform will go on and prosper, -because it has truth and righteousness on its side. If this thing be of God-it will, it must prosper, and no weapon formed against it shall overthrow it. The means to be used for the accomplishment of this great object according to my view of the subject must be, FIRST, --The diffusion of Light. As long as the people are in darkness, they will follow their leaders. But let their eyes be once opened—and, though it be only like that of the man in the Gospel, who began to see men as trees walking, they will begin to suspect that all is not right. SECONDLY,—It will be necessary for those who see-to unite firmly together, and conduct their operations on New Testament principles,-having a single eye to the glory of God and the salvation of immortal souls; and to lose sight of party spirit and party feelings ; and this will not be easily done, because it is in the very teeth of corrupt nature. Satan is at work, and I should not wonder if he transforms himself into an angel of light, and deceive unwary souls. Hence the necessity of much prayer and watchfulness, with a constant looking up to God for an increase of faith and love. THIRDLY, We should most carefully guard against prejudice towards our opponents. They will eat like a canker worm, and drive the life and power of God out of our souls. And also against all expressions that will not bear the test of Scripture. Strong language generally fails in producing its intended effect. Kindness and affection will do wonders. It is said of Mr. Baxter, that he used to say " that we should sacrifice every thing for peace, except a good conscience.” May God Almighty help us to keep this in view, and then success will crown our efforts.
The Association will rise, in my opinion, above all opposition, and spread its influence far and wide. May the God of Jacob make it successful. I shall use my utmost efforts to promote the interest thereof.
I was a party to the compact or covenant of 1797 entered into by the Methodist Conference with the people, and saw with pleasure and delight the working of the system for upwards of thirty years; and hoped it would continue to prosper to the end of time. But alas ! my hopes are blasted and my expectations cut off. The breach of compact and assumption of irresponsible power by the Preachers, in connexion with the expulsion of many members who were some of its brightest ornaments, and firmest supporters,
is to me,-a sure token that the glory is departing from our Israel; I have laboured in season and out of season, as long as my physical strength continued, in attention to my duties, and to walk as becometh the gospel of Christ, for the space of between fifty and sixty years ;-and I feel thankful that during the entire period no charge of immorality was ever brought against me, either at a leaders', or at a local preachers' meeting. W. M.
THE WAY TO HELP OUR MISSION FUND.
MR. EDITOR, While perusing the more recent numbers of your Magazine, I have been pleased to observe expressions of anxiety respecting the present state of the moral world, and allusions to the present state of our Association Mission Funds, with some valuable suggestions as to the duty of the church in relation to those matters. It is certainly very proper to write about those things, to hold meetings, deliver lectures, employ collectors and Missionary Boxes, for the purpose of obtaining money in the usual systematic way, but after all, there is one plan which I fear is too generally neglected, by members of the church,—that of giving according to their ability; and thus letting their light shine before men, that others seeing their good works may also glorify God. I hear about a missionary debt of £600. It is the opinion of the writer that if the respective members of the Association would properly look into the present lamentable state of the heathen world, and also consider their individual and corporate accountability to God, there would be immediately forth-coming, not only £600, but a further supply of money sufficient to send several other missionaries to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation, where doors are opening; feeling a great desire that something should be done in this great and glorious work: I beg to present the sum of £20.
ACCOUNT OF TWO EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON.
MR. EDITOR-Sir, The fears of silly people having now passed away, relative to the much talked of earthquake, that was, according to the testimony of some false prophets, to have taken place this month ; I beg leave to enclose you an extract from the journal of Mr. Wesley, giving a brief account of two earthquakes that occurred in London in 1750.
“Thursday, February 8th,- It was about a quarter after twelve, that the earthquake began at the skirts of the town. It began in the south-east, went through Southwark, under the river, and then from one end of London to the other. It was observed at Westminster and Grosvenor-square a quarter before one, (perhaps, if we allow for the difference of the clocks, about a quarter of an hour after it began in Southwark). There were three distinct shakes, or wavings to and fro, attended with a hoarse, rumbling noise like thunder. How gently does God deal with this nation! O that our repentance may prevent heavier marks of his displeasure.
“March 8th,-To-day God gave the people of London a second warning, of which my brother wrote as follows:- This morning a quarter after five, we had another shock of an earthquake, far more violent than that of Feb. 8th. I was just repeating my text, when it shook the Foundry so violently, that we all expected to fall upon our heads; a great cry followed from the women and children. I immediately cried out, Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved, and the hills be carried into the sea : for the Lord of Hosts is with us ; the God of Jacob is our refuge. He filled my heart with faith, and my mouth with words, shaking their souls as well as their bodies.'
“ The earth moved westward, then east, then westward again, through all London and Westminster. It was a strong and jarring motion, attended with a rumbling noise like that of distant thunder. Many houses were much shaken, and some chimneys thrown down, but without any farther hurt."
now, instead of driving the preachers
of the gospel from them, many seem BIRMINGHAM CIRCUIT.
anxious to bear for themselves. May Northfield is a village in the county | this anxiety to hear the gospel increase of Worcester, five miles from Birming | in intensity, and be more generally difhan. The people of this village in fused among them. by-gone days were most wretchedly The Conference Methodists attempt. debased, intellectually and morally. ed, for many years, to plant them.
They were wholly given up to the selves in Northfield; but they never most cruel sports, and were noted as succeeded to any great extent. Al. racers and boxers. Whenever those | though no very great good appeared who cared for their souls offered them as the result of their labours, there can life by the preaching of the gospel, be no doubt but that some good was they almost unanimously refused to done. The honour of building a dishear. Forty years ago, the Methodists senting place of worship in this village of Birmingham tried by preaching and was reserved for the Wesleyan Assoother usual means to convince them ciation; and the members of that Assoof their dangerous state, and many ciation confidently expect that in the times met with the most afflictive re- chapel which they have there built, pulses. Upon one occasion two of much spiritual good will be done. the Birmingham Methodist Preachers | When it became known to the clergy. -one of whom was Mr. Peter Has | man of the parish, that the Schisma. lam-were so much persecuted, that | ticks!' intended to build a chapel had it not been for the kindness of the within the boundary of his cure,' gentleman of whom the land was he offered all the opposition in his taken, upon which the Association power. When he discovered that it Chapel now stands, it is believed that would be impossible for him to prevent their lives would have been sacrificed. our friends from having land, he waited The mobs in Northfield have at times, upon the then secretary of the trust, gone so far as to ransack the slaughter- | for the purpose of endeavouring to house of a butcher for the purpose of persuade the trustees to give up their obtaining filth to throw upon the Me- project. He said, “ The Methodist thodists. With all this it may easily preachers are unlearned men, and inbe imagined, that there must have been capable of teaching properly the way a great number of ignorant suspicions of life. Whereas those of the estaband prejudices in the minds of the lishment have been educated in the
people. But the times when these Universities—the Methodist preachers 'feelings were publicly manifested are are not properly ordained, and are
gone, and the character of the people not successors of the Apostles, but the has assumed a different aspect; for ( ministers of the Church of England
are !” In addition to all this, a cry has, municating some particulars of a grabeen heard in and out of the 'Steeplecious revival with which that Church House,' of the Church is in danger," has lately been favoured. and a Tract on, what are termed, high At the time of the last Annual AsChurch Principles, has been widely sembly and for some time previously, circulated in the village.
the members of the Church felt an Notwithstanding all the opposition, anxious desire, and offered up many open and secret, a chapel has been sincere and fervent prayers, that the raised, and it was opened on Sunday Lord would pour out His Spirit, and the 20th of February last. The ser water his inheritance. This state of vices were conducted by the Revs. things continued about two months H. Tarrant, T. Swan, Baptist minister longer without any particular visible of Cannon-street, Birmingham, and effects; they however, were not cast W. Mackenny of Redditch. The down, but continued steadfast in discourse preached in the morning by prayer, and in the use of other means. Mr. Tarrant, considering the events At length, two or three individuals that had transpired in the village, was were awakened, and soundly convery appropriate; and it affords me verted to God; and this was received considerable pleasure to add, that it as the earnest of what might be exobtained the attentive consideration of pected to follow, and as an encouragea crowded and delighted congregation. ment to persevering, believing, prayer. Remarks were made calculated to ex Among other means adopted, meetings pose the policy of the State Church, for prayer were held in private houses, and to direct the minds of the people in nearly every part of the village ; but to the consideration of the principles especially if practicable, at the resiof the New Testament Church. The dences of those persons, who were ob. chapel was well filled at each of the served at the preaching or other means services, and the collections, consider of grace, to be under serious impresing the depression of the times, were sions; this consequently, gave a wider liberal. A school which promises well, scope to the work, and was the means is held in the chapel. From this and of reaching a number of individuals the present spirit of the people, and who never attended a place of worship, the eagerness of the congregation to and who, humanly speaking, but for bear words whereby they may be
such a plan, must have remained unsaved, the friends in Birmingham affected, and unblessed. hope for still better things-a more There was one circumstance of a glorious work. May God bless all very remarkable nature that occurred as their efforts for his glory in the salva the work progressed, which claims our tion of souls with great success. especial notice : members of Society, Joseph Taylor. private as well as official, had, in a
number of instances, the cases of particuliar individuals, residing in the vil.
lage, who were living without the fear REVIVAL OF RELIGION AT ECCLES
of God, and in some instances most HILL, IN THE BRADFORD CIRCUIT. abandoned persons, strongly impressed
upon their minds, whilst engaged in TO THE EDITOR—Dear Sir,
private prayer, and at their usual em. The populous, manufacturing village ployment; and they could not rest until of Eccleshill, has been favoured with they had called upon them and invited a Methodist ministry for near seventy them to the chapel. This in almost every years.
instance, resulted in their conversion In your valuable Miscellany for to God. In this way, by the use both November 1838, an account was in of ordinary and extraordinary means, serted of the opening of a Wesleyan | the Lord has been blessing his people, Association Chapel, and the formation and adding to their numbers; so that of a small Society in that place, under up to the present time there has been circumstances of great encouragenjent; an increase of more than one hundred and I have now the pleasure of com- ' persons to the society, all of whom,
except probably five or six, have pro- | a clean smock frock, being assured that fessed to receive the blessing of pardon. the people would be glad to see him To God be all the praise.
at the chapel even in that dress. The In addition to what has already been | word came home to his conscience; said, it may be observed that this revi. and he was so much impressed with val has been characterised by several | the truths he beard, that in the evening particulars, which ought not to be he was again found in the house of passed over without notice. In the first prayer. It was then he became place, some of the conversions have thoroughly awakened to a sense of his been as remarkable as any ever wit. danger, sincerely repented of his past nessed since the day of Pentecost; leav transgressions before God, and earnestly ing not the shadow of a doubt upon the besought the Divine mercy. At the mind of the most sceptical of the reality prayer meeting after the sermon, the of the change. It is remarkable too, that Lord was graciously pleased to speak nearly all the new converts are adults ; peace to his soul, and enable him to and several considerably advanced in rejoice in sins forgiven. years, who had lived all their lives | The conversion of so notorious a “ without God and without hope in sinner as the person now before us, as the world.” In probably not less than | might be expected, made “no small a dozen instances, husbands and wives stir" in the village; and it was not bave been made “ partakers of the unusual afterwards in the prayer meetsame grace,” and rejoiced over each ings, when encouraging penilents to other on finding “ peace through be believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for lieving."
pardon, to instance in proof of his willIt has been mentioned that ungodly | inguess to save all who would come to individuals were called upon by mem him, the fact of such an one, mentionbers of society, and invited to attend ing the name of this person, having the Chapel, one successful and extra- been saved. Oh, the power of Divine ordinary instance of which I will give. | grace! A Manasseh, a Saul, or even There was a man in the village who a Peter, is not too vile to be, by by his drunken habits, and profligate the grace of God, made a new creaconduct, had become so reduced as to ture ! be under the necessity of breaking | It is not the least interesting part stones on the highway for the means | of the narrative, that this poor prodi. of subsistence; and was to the inhabi gal, the child of many prayers, was tants a proverb and a by-word for his the son of an aged local preacher in wickedness. The case of this man was the Conference Connexion, residing a powerfully impressed upon the mind short distance from Eccleshill, to whom of one of the friends, who invited him the son repaired next morning, to comto the Chapel, and proposed waiting | municate the delightful news; and upon him on the following Sabbath who, with his wife, afterwards attended morning for that purpose. The poor, our Chapel to return thanks for the wretched individual, smiled at the idea great mercy the Lord had shown to of anybody evincing concern for one their son. Nor would it be just to the who was almost out of the pale of friends who so kindly interested themcivilized society, and instead of object. selves in his behalf to omit the pleasing ing to the invitation, merely said, the fact, that a subscription was entered visitor would forget his proposal by | into to provide suitable apparel to the Sabbath day. That however was enable him decently to attend the wornot the case ; the kind friend at the ship of God; and that those friends time visited the miserable outcast, had the gratification of seeing him whose strongest objection to accom | respectably “clothed,” as well as being panying him to the house of God was | restored to “his right mind." à want of suitable clothes; not having The work is still progressing, and a coat to put on his back. This objec- although not so rapidly as to the tion was however overruled, and he was number of conversions, yet God is persuaded to accompany the visitor in | deepening his work in the hearts of