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L'Exposition de la Doctrine de l'Eglise Catholique, par Bossuet, Evêque de Meaux.
We would further recommend to our Ministers of the Gospel in all evangelical churches, that they furnish themselves with weapons for this controversy, by studying attentively the history of the Reformation. The study of ecclesiastical history-in fact, of all history-is important for this end. Every Minister should understand the history of the first three or four centuries of the Christian era ; should be able to show in what manner the hierarchy took its rise, and supplanted the simple constitution of the primitive churches ; to trace the growth and establishment of that spiritual despotism which, through ages of darkness, held the world in chains. We rejoice in the publication of so many learned and accurate works upon the early history of the church, in a form and at a price which bring their valuable contents within the reach of all. Moreover, recent events have shown us the importance of a thorough knowledge of all history;* for when the astute Bishop of New-York-astute, in distinction from the rival pretender to the same title-attempts to persuade an American audience that “the mixture of civil and ecclesiastical power in the governments of the middle ages was favourable to liberty, we need some champion of religious freedom and truth, with the promptness and ability with which Mr. Cheever has come forward, to expose the sophistry and fraud, and to exhibit the Church of Rome in its true historical character, as a hierarchical despotism.
But a knowledge of the history of the Reformation, or rather a familiarity with its great principles and events, is indispensable to all who are to engage in the great controversy. The mere fact of the existence of this controversy, the fact that it is necessary again to debate those points upon which the minds of Luther, and Calvin, and Zuingle, exhausted their strength, shows us that, notwithstanding their wisdom, piety, and zeal, there was some serious defect in their manner of conducting the great controversy of their age. We must study the history of those stirring times, we must ascertain what were the errors of the Reformers, what the peculiarities of their situation, what the difficulties which encompassed them ; why it was that the church, which had been delivered from the yoke of despotism by a mighty arm, and led forth into the light and liberty of the Gospel, turned back from the very borders of the land of promise, and wandered in the wilderness ; why it was that she had not faith and courage to complete the work of redemption, so auspiciously begun. Surveying these things in the calm, clear light of history, and gathering wisdom from experience dearly purchased, we can conduct the reformation of our times to an issue more glorious and enduring than was ever anticipated by the Reformers of the sixteenth century.
The last suggestion which we have to offer, and the most important, is, that Ministers should cultivate a higher tone of spirituality in their lives and in their preaching. The true antagonist to formalism is spirituality,–
* " A Lecture on the Mixture of civil and ecclesiastical Power in the Governments of the middle Ages. By the Right Rev. Dr. Hughes, Bishop of New-York. Delivered at the Tabernacle, on Monday evening, Dec. 18th, 1843, by request of the Irish Emigrant Society. New York, 1843.”
“ The Hierarchical Despotism. Lectures on the Mixture of civil and ecclesiastical Power in the Governments of the middle Ages, in Illustration of the Nature and Progress of Despotism in the Romish Church. By the Rev. George B. Cheever. New-York, 1844."
spirituality not in words and opinions, but in life and power. This great foe to the Gospel must be vanquished by the power of prayer, and holy living, rather than by force of argument. True Christianity must be put in contrast with that which falsely bears its name, in the lives of its professors. The
sons of God” must be “blameless and without rebuke, shining as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.” It should be borne in mind that the errors of Romanism are deeply seated in the depraved heart of man ; that they have their "origin in human nature," * and can therefore be uprooted only in the complete renovation of the soul by the Spirit of God. Let, then, the evangelical ministry of our land become yet more emphatically evangelical ; more evangelical not only in doctrine, but in life, not only in preaching, but in practice ; let them exhibit to their people the necessity of eminent holiness ; let them pray and labour everywhere for the revival of pure and undefiled religion ; let them deal in faithfulness and love with the souls of men ; and soon will the true church of God “arise and shine,” and error, superstition, and sin will flee before her as the mists of the morning.–New-Englander.
No. V.-LETTERS FROM MISS MARTHA AND MISS KEZIA WES.
LEY TO THEIR BROTHER, THE REV. JOHN WESLEY.
FROM MISS MARTHA WESLEY, AFTERWARDS MRS. HALL.
Sept. 10th, 1724. DEAR BROTHER,—I would not have you think I have forgot you, because I have not writ to you ; for I can assure you it was not out of any want of love to you, but because I was unwilling to put you to the charge of paying the postage for a letter from me ; for I shall never forget one kindness
did me when at Wroote, and I should be very glad to see you again ; but I doubt I must not hope to enjoy that satisfaction a great while yet. Sister Hetty is at Kelstern, and sends us word that she lives very well. Sister Nancy, I believe, will marry John Lambert : perhaps you may not have forgotten him, since you saw him at Wroote. I should be very glad if you would give yourself the trouble of writing a long letter to me, which would exceedingly oblige Your sincere friend and affectionate sister,
FROM MISS KEZIA WESLEY.
Lincoln, July 12th, 1729. DEAR BROTHER,—I should not have writ so soon, but that you
threatened to deprive me of the satisfaction of hearing from you any more, except I did : not that I should have been hindered by multiplicity of business, or by the amusements of this place, but that I could not have imagined it would be any pleasure to a person of sense to hear from such an illiterate person, had I not had it under your own hand and seal. Amongst unequals, what society [can exist]?
I have heard from my mother lately : she was as well as usual ; my father and sisters are very well, except poor Sukey : she is very ill. People
* See Archbishop Whately's profound treatise on this subject.
think she is going into a consumption, and will soon be “where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest.”
Miss Whiteley likes Lincoln as well as can be expected from one that had her will in everything at home: she stays no longer than the summer. She and I have parted beds : it was her desire, occasioned by her cousin's coming. Civility is worth the world. Betty Dixon went home eight weeks ago. I was really surprised at her going, because, she said, her eyes were so tender, she could not work. And neither I nor any one in the school had ever perceived it before she told us.
I am glad to hear you are so easy, and I wish you could continue to be so, when you get of [on] our side again ; but that is a vain wish.
“ To our new court sad thought does still repair,
And round our whiten'd roof hangs hovering care.” I desire you will tell brother Charles I cannot excuse him from writing always, though I do now : I am very sorry he meets with so many misfortunes, and wish it were in my power to alleviate any of them : I should be very glad if we could all follow his example of faith and patience. But you know our sex have naturally weaker minds than yours ; not that I bring this as any excuse as to my particular case, for I own I have been very defective in both faith and patience.
I cannot say I thought those evils imaginary, that I met with at home, if they may be called so. My mother's ill health, which often was occasioned by her want of clothes, or convenient food ; and my own constant ill health, these three years last past, weighed much more with me than anything else.
« For who can undergo the force of present ills,
With fear of future woe?” I am sorry you have such an ill opinion of me, as to think I should have pressed upon you so to write, if I had not desired to hear from you : pray believe me next time. Nothing should have made me write, but the fear of disobliging a person from whom I have received so many obligations.
I am much easier here than if I were at home. If there be any who have such large souls, and are blessed with that composure and evenness of temper, that the multiplicity of their affairs destroys not their concern for eternity, nor is an hinderance in the just discharge of their duty ;-if there be any such, then they are fit to teach a school. When I have it in my choice, either to get my living by teaching school, or by any other
of business, then it will be seen what I shall choose. I have told you my mind as freely as I have sister Patty, and have only time to return you thanks for the
Poor Nanny Robinson is dead. I desire you will always write three letters to my one.
Your goodness will excuse all faults. Dear Jackey, adieu. Pray write as soon as possible.
THE REV, JOHN WESLEY, AND EARLY PREACHING.
(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.) The two following letters of the Rev. John Wesley, in connexion with his Journals, and Minutes of Conference, show the importance he attached to this practice throughout the whole course of his life.*
“ As soon,” says he, “as I set foot in Georgia, I began preaching at five in the morning :
At this auspicious hour, An hour when Heaven 's most intimate with man.' Every serious person in the town constantly attended throughout the year, every morning, winter and summer, unless in the case of sickness. They did so till I left the province. In 1738, when God began his great work in England, I commenced preaching at the same hour, winter and summer, and never wanted a congregation.” In 1784 he deeply lamented its having been discontinued in many places. “March 15th,” says he, “I preached at Stroud, where, to my surprise, I found the morning preaching had been given up, as also in the neighbouring places. If this be the case while I live, what must it be when I am gone? Give up this, and Methodism, too, will degenerate into a mere sect." The next day he says, “ At Gloucester the room was full at five t in the morning, and both the Preachers and the people promised to neglect the early preaching no more.” “While we are labouring to secure the preaching-houses to the next generation, in the name of God, let us, if possible, secure the present generation from drawing back unto perdition. Let all the Preachers who are alive to God exhort them instantly to repent, and do the first works : this in particular,-rising in the morning ; without which, neither their souls nor bodies can long remain in health.” (See Works, vol. iv., pp. 267–269.) The following is a transcript of an original letter “ TO MISS WESLEY, IN CHESTERFIELD-STREET, MARYLEBONE.
“ Bolton, April 16th, 1790. “MY DEAR SALLY,-Persons may judge I am not so well as I was once, because I seldom preach early in the morning. But I have been no otherwise indisposed, than by the great dryness of my mouth.
“I am glad Sammy is diligent in study. It will save him from many temptations : and if he strictly follow the method of Kingswood School, he will profit much. Peace be with your spirit !
“I am, my dear Sally,
" JOHN WESLEY."
* Dr. Clarke records of Mr. Symons, one of the Leaders at City-road, that, “ for forty years, he regularly attended at five o'clock, first at the Foundery, and afterwards at the New Chapel.” (See Clarke's Works, vol. xii., p. 370.)
+ When Her present Majesty's father, the late Duke of Kent, attended Cityroad chapel, (Nov. 29th, 1815,) in company with the Lord Mayor, Sir Matthew Wood, and the late Alderman Sir William Heygate, &c., as Patron, and VicePresidents, of the North-street School, to aid the sermon preached in its behalf, it fell to my lot, as one of the Stewards, to escort the royal Duke to his seat. Entering by the morning-chapel, he inquired why there was a smaller chapel adjoining the larger. I replied, it was principally designed by Mr. Wesley for five o'clock preaching. “What, five in the morning !” said he; and was surprised to learn that it had often been full at that early hour.
See Whitehead's Life of Wesley, vol. ii., pp. 245~249.
" TO MR. HENRY MOORE.
“ Dumfries, June 1st, 1790. “ DEAR HENRY,-So I am upon the borders of England again. My sight is much as it was ; but I doubt I shall not recover my strength till I use that noble medicine, * -preaching in the morning. But where can we put poor Adam Clarke? He must not preach himself to death; and what Circuit is he equal to, where he can have rest as well as labour? The best place I can think of, at present, is Leeds.
“ The dying words of the Prince of Orange are much upon my mind : • Lord have mercy upon the people !'t
“I never saw so much likelihood of doing good in Scotland as there is now, if all our Preachers here would be Methodists indeed.
“I am, dear Henry,
“ JOHN WESLEY."
I shall close this paper by an extract from the Minutes of the Conference held in Bristol, in 1768 :-“ Q. 23. What can be done to revive the work of God ? A. Let the preaching at five in the morning be constantly kept up, wherever you can have twenty hearers. This is the glory of the Methodists. Whenever this is dropped, they will dwindle away into nothing. Rising early is equally good for soul and body. It helps the nerves better than a thousand medicines ; and, in particular, preserves the sight, and prevents lowness of spirits, more than can well be imagined." (8vo. edit., vol. i., p. 79.) City-Road, March 2d, 1845.
No. IV.-THE NAZARITES. The institution of the Nazarites originated, not by the appointment of the Lawgiver, but it is implied, in Num. chap. vi., as an existing institution, and is there only sanctioned.
If we examine the matter more closely, we perceive indications of Egyptian influence ; yet it is less conspicuous here than in the institution of the holy women. For the institution in general, Egypt furnishes no parallel. An Egyptian reference can be pointed out for only a single feature of the system, the leaving of the hair to grow; and that is one which has no connexion with religion, but with the customs of the people. Finally, the single allusion to Egypt, although truly worthy of notice, is still not so characteristic that we could, with full certainty, assert its existence.
It is necessary for our purpose, that we first determine the significance of leaving the hair unshorn by the Nazarite. We begin with an examination of the view of Bähr.|| The obligation of the Nazarite, he asserts, to
* See Clarke's Works, vol. xii., p. 375.-Character of Pawson.
+ “ From thee the sacred ardour came,
And WILLIAM breathed an heavenly flame!” _Hymns for the public Thanksgiving-Day, Oct. 9th, 1746, p. 7.
See Clarke's Works, vol. xii., p. 455. || Symbol. Th. 2, S. 432.