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of them. I used to go to their meetings like Nicodemus, in the dark, that I might not be seen by my friends; but on one of those nights, on my return, I was met by my father, who asked where I had been, I told him that I had been to the Methodist meeting ;-for I durst not tell an untruth, whatever might be the consequence ;-at which he was so enraged, that he fell upon me most furiously, and said many and bitter things against me. I asked why he so cruelly treated me? He replied, it was because I would not cease from going among those deceived people, the Methodists. I said, ' Father, when I was living in a course of sin and rebellion against the Lord, you suffered me to go on quietly ; then you never spoke against me; but now, having a desire to save my soul, you do all you can to hinder me. But I am determined to serve the Lord, whatever may be the consequence.'” His firmness put an end to all violent opposition from that quarter.
Soon after he had found the pearl of great price, he thought that it was no longer necessary for him to watch, and pray, and labour, as he had done ; but he soon perceived his mistake: for “ I found," says he, “that my love to God began to decline, and I saw the necessity of giving all diligence to make my calling and election sure.” He knew that the good work in his soul was begun ; but,-though St. Paul had expressed a confident hope of the completion of that work in the hearts of the Philippians, who had firmly endured a great fight of affliction, and had shared in his sufferings,- he did not know whether it would be carried on in him; for he not only believed, that
« The life of faith Loses in joy and rapture by each fall;".
but also, that a man possessed even of the piety of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, unless he“ keep his body under," would, after all, “ become a castaway.;” and not thinking himself farther advanced in piety than the Apostle, he thought it right to act upon his advice.
About this time there was a considerable revival of religion in Aluwick, chiefly under the ministry of Mr. William Darney; a man possessing few personal attractions, of a broad Scottish dialect, and, when dwelling on the terrors of the Lord, terrible to behold; but a man of deep piety, strong sense, and burning zeal, with a courage that fearlessly defied all opposition. There was a rich vein of evangelical truth in his preaching, often delivered with the quaintness of some of the old Puritan Preachers, which pleased and profited many. Perhaps, too, his popularity was not lessened by his frequently, at the close of his sermon, giving out an ex, temporary hymn, adapted to the subject upon which he had been discoursing. The poetry of these extemporaneous effusions was not indeed of the first class, but it interested the people, and his preaching was made
the power of God to the salvation of many. This roused the wicked to opposition; and among the rest a company of strolling players, who happened to be at Alnwick, and who prepared a play against the Methodists; in which Mr. Darney and the leading Members of the Society were to perform their several parts.' The late Messrs. William Ferguson, who afterwards settled in London and in Holland, Thomas Gibson, Luke Matthison, and the subject of this memoir, each had a part assigned to him. The play, however, though the bills were printed and circulated, for some reason, which at this distance of time is not known, was never acted. Soon after this, as Mr. Darney was riding past their temporary theatre, (a barn fitted up for the purpose of exhibition,) the players, who were lounging and basking in the sun, said, in a tone sufficiently loud for him to hear, “Here is Scotch Will; let us mob him.” On hearing this, Mr. Darney, who was a man of prodigious size, and, when he chose, of a terrific countenance, being mounted on avery spirited horse, immediately rode up to them, and, making his horse stand upon its hinder feet, at the same time elevating his whip, he said, with a voice of thunder, “Ye sons of Belial, come on.” The poor actors were horribly afraid; and were thankful to atone for their insolence by their individually begging his pardon and promising to behave better ever after. This they were careful to do; for no one after this ventured to insult him. I have heard Mr. Stanley relate many interesting anecdotes of this extraordinary man, one of which I shall here record. One day, when travelling somewhere in the Dales, in company with a few pious friends, speaking on the subject of temptation, he said, “I don't know what to think; for I have had no trouble from the wicked one for some time; ” when suddenly his horse plunged into a bog, and threw to the ground both him and the female friend who rode on a pillion behind. Being rescued from the bog, his companions rode forward to the first farmhouse in that neighbourhood, and requested permission for two of their friends, who had met with an accident, to dry their clothes. Permission was readily granted; and having arrived, Mr. Darney, instead of going near the fire, said, “Let us pray.” They all kneeled down, and he prayed. After rising from his knees, he paced the room in silence for some time, when at length he again said, “Let us pray.” After rising a second time, the farmer said, addressing himself to Mr. Darney, “You shall not leave my house this night; for there is something in you which I never saw in any man before.” “Say you so?” said "Mr. Darney; “then go and invite all your neighbours, and I will preach to them.” “He did so; and the power of the Lord was manifested in the awakening of many souls. So greatly was this accident overruled for good.
Soon after Mr. Stanley had experienced the power of godliness in his own soul, he was desirous that others should enjoy the same blessing.
He regularly reproved sin, and defended the doctrine of justification by faith, and the witness of the Spirit, with all that ability which the Lord had given him. The knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins, was in that day, almost universally, a stone of stumbling. On this point he was often assailed; but having both the Prayer-Book and the Bible on his side, he invariably conquered : though he did not always prevail on his opponents to receive the truth. Many of those with whom he disputed professed to believe both the Bible and the Prayer-Book; and when he showed them the doctrine of assurance in both, they could not deny it, yet they would not receive the doctrine. Some time after he became a Local Preacher, a gentleman came to him and said, " Mr. Stanley, what doctrines do you Methodists preach?” He replied, “Sir, I preach the doctrines of the Old and New Testament.” “But do not you preach a particular doctrine, that people must know their sins forgiven?”. “Sir," he said, “that is the doctrine both of the Old and New Testament;" and referred him to David, who says, “Blessed is the man whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sin is covered ; " and to the cüid Psalm, “ Bless the Lord, O my soul, .... who forgiveth all thine iniquities ;" and to the words of St. Peter, (Acts x. 43,) “To him give all the Prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive the remission of sing." " If it be so," the gentleman replied, “ very few will be saved.” “ True," was the answer, « and this agrees with our Lord's words, Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction ; and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and 'narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” He still denied the possibility of such knowledge in this life; but after being pressed with several other pertinent texts, and shown on Bible and Protestant prio, ciples, that pardon and holiness must both be obtained in this life, he became thoughtful; and the next morning he returned, and said, "I have had no rest all night, through yesterday's conversation." To which Mr. Stanley replied, “It would be' well were you to give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids, till you are brought into the happy enjoyment of a sense of the divine favour." Many similar conversations he had with persons in 'the different classes of society; from some of whom he received gross insult, whilst others attended to the things which were spoken, and were convinced of the truth. "
He began to preach in the year 1757, or 1758. The first time he preached was at Berwick-upon-Tweed, when on a visit to his sister; and under his sermon a backslider was restored. Encouraged by this token of the divine approbation, he continued to proclaim the word of reconciliation, not only on the Lord's Days, but frequently on week-days, in towns and villages where the providence of God at any time called him.
In many instances he was the first Methodist that the people had ever
* o no!" answered that excellent man ;." Stop, Brother Coward, and I will go with you.". The point was gained : the went, and spoke with great power, a divine unction accompanying his word, for about an hour. Mr. Coward continued for many years a faithful, laborious, and zealous servant of Jesus Christ; in whose faith he lived and died; leaving the subject of this Memoir, who had long been honoured with his friendship, his executor. RATIO i insolo... } · The cause of religion was greatly promoted in Alnwick by the oeca. sional visits of the venerable persons just named. This was-eminently the case during one of the visits paid by Mr. Charles Wesley. He, as was the custom in those days, went to the church on the Lord's Day morning; when the Clergyman preached from, “ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves," and delivered a bitter philippic against the Methodists; whom he described as dangerous wolves, and against whom, with great zeal, he warned his hearers. The Sermon was no doubt selected for the occasion.“: Knowing that Mr. Wesley was to be one of his congregation, this zealous Divine read, with great boldoess, his spirited composition. But, alas, “ foreknowledge he had none." Had he foreseen the use which was immediately to be made of his own harangue, and the effect which in a very short time would be produced upon the public mind, he would rather have slept than preached on that morning. When the service was over, Mr. Wesley stood upon a grave-stone ; and being immediately surrounded by the congregation, he preached from the verse immediately following the text of the Clergyman: “Ye shall know them by their fruits." He introduced his sermon, by observing, that he had risen merely to finish the gentleman's sermon, which only explained one part of the subject. · He then described the false prophets by their fruits; fraits which indeed were too abundant among some prophets, but which had not yet been found among those to whom the gentleman's sermon was applied. The people were astonished, convinced, and charmed; and many from that time attended the ministry of the Methodists, who had not attended before; and much good was done. ,. .. !!
In the year 1762, Mr. Stanley, after much prayer for divine direction, entered into the honourable state of matrimony, with - Margaret Bowmaker, daughter of William and Barbary Bowmaker. Her father was one of tbe first Methodists: in Alnwick. He had a brother who was resident in' Sunderland, and had been converted to God under the ministry of the Methodists. Folli of faith and lore, he visited this relations“ at Alnwick, hoping to convert them all pl. but he was
painfally disappointeda, William, who had considerable strength and · acuteness of mind, opposed his brother with so much subtlety, as almost
to make him i doubt whether what he had experienced was not all a