Imágenes de páginas


"All ye that pass by,

To Jesus draw nigh!
To you is it nothing that Jesus should die ?"
“Hark! the voice of love and mercy

Sounds aloud from Calvary :" " There is a green hill, far away,” and so on, snatching at random from many that we have marked, we would suggest that there is much that is as good as the very good, and, evidently, altogether superior to a good many of the Committee's Hymns.

Near the outset we mentioned special and peculiar classes of men as specially needing to be provided for; let us end with showing how easily this may be done and others gratified at the same time.

Sailors and fishermen belong, by the ten thousand, to our Church, or are open to its influence; fine, manly fellows, many of them, with hearts and voices; some of them pious; all of them needing as much love and help as the most tempted of landsmen. The Book of Common Prayer has one hymn (Heber's) specially for them. Why can we not take into our books such a stirring piece as “Homeward bound,” beginning :

“Out on an ocean all boundless we ride ;

We're homeward-bound,-homeward-bound!
Wildly the storm sweeps us on as it roars ;

We're homeward-bound,-homeward-bound.
Look, yonder lie the bright heavenly shores :

We're homeward-bound,-homeward-bound :
Steady, O pilot! stand firm at the wheel;
Steady! we soon shall outweather the gale.
Oh! how we fly, 'neath the loud creaking sail !

We're homeward-bound,-homeward-bound.' Our Committee have wisely not pushed out a Hymn for being popular and effective ; why not such as this? and could none of us sing such a thing heartily beside sailors ? The Star of Bethlehem is admirable :

." When marshalled on the nightly plain,

The glittering host bestud the sky,
One star alone of all the train

Can fix the sinner's wandering eye.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“Hark! bark! to God a chorus breaks

From all the host, from every gem:
But one, alone, the Saviour speaks;

It is the Star of Bethlehem."
In this, as in others, slight touches might be wanted; but no
Compilers were ever bashful on that point, and our Committee
have better warrant than the common run of Compilers.

One little piece more we give in full, and print at length; we think it will make, for the moment, sailors of almost all

of us :

“At anchor laid, remote from home,
Toiling I cry, sweet Spirit, come!
Celestial breeze, no longer stay,
But swell my sails and speed my way!

Fain would I feel that fair breeze blow,
And heave my anchor from below:
But I can only spread my sail ;

Thou, Thou must breathe the auspicious gale!" Providing for classes by no means necessarily deprives others. Feeling deeply and acknowledging gladly, how much we all owe to the Compilers of this excellent book, we have, in what we have written of it, wished to secure its being kept open, to be made far richer yet; and to be weeded out by the rule, that not what is correct enough in doctrine, and grammar, and versification, has a claim to stand in our Hymn-book; but only what is decidedly excellent.



The Works of the Reverend JOHN WESLEY, A, M., Sometime

Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. First American, from the latest London Edition, &c. In Seven Volumes. New York : Waugh & Mason. 1832.

In the present divided state of the Methodist Society in this country, there are many persons, including, not unlikely, not a few of the Preachers in that denomination, who will be interested in knowing what the real opinions of John Wesley were, as to the character of the great movement which he was mainly instrumental in inaugurating. The prevailing religious apathy of the age in which he lived, his own deep convictions as to the reality and power of the Life of God in the soul of man, and some peculiar views which he held as to the nature of that Life, led him, though, as he says, regarded as a “High Churchman,” to institute a system of certain extraordinary and temporary means to accomplish certain extraordinary ends. But John Wesley had no idea of establishing a “ New Church,” or of being the founder of a religious body which would separate from the Church of England, of which he was a Minister. To this he was opposed, not on grounds of prudence or expediency, but, as he said again and again, “as a point of conscience.” All the reasons, which weighed with him then, have ten-fold greater weight now, for those who call themselves his disciples, and profess to be his followers.

We have gathered out of the Works of Mr. Wesley a few extracts from his writings, which, though comparatively brief, are enough to show how radically different the opinions of John Wesley were from the popular notions of multitudes of those who now bear his name. The increasing number of those who are leaving that sect and returning to the Church of which John Wesley was a Minister, and to which, even to the last, he

[ocr errors]

never ceased declaring his love and allegiance, will, we doubt not, at no distant day be increased many fold. Important movements of this sort are even now said to be in contemplation. That these men may live and labor happily and successfully with us, they will need to understand precisely the point where Modern Methodism began to diverge from the ideal of its founder. Religion, in all its essential features, must be unchangeable by man. A Religion which reaches the heart, which commands the faith, and regulates the life ; a Religion which meets all the wants of man's spiritual nature, must be that very Religion which Christ Himself established, and which He commissioned His Apostles to preach in all the world, and with whom, in the persons of their Successors, He promised to be present to the end of time.

Upon two or three points in the personal belief of John Wesley, we shall now make extracts from his writings.

In respect to the Ministry, Mr. Wesley says in his Journal :

“We believe there is and always was, in every Christian Church, an outward priesthood ordained by Jesus Christ, an outward sacrifice offered therein by men authorised to act as ambassadors for Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."

“We believe that the threefold order of ministers is not only authorised by the Apostolic Institution, but also by the Written Word.” And of the Wesleyan Preachers, he

says: They no more take upon themselves to be priests than to be kings. They take not upon them to administer the Sacraments, an honor peculiar to the priests of God.*

In his Letter to Mr. H., in 1756, he says:

"I do tolerate unordained persons in preaching the Gospel; whereas I do not tolerate them in administering the Sacraments."

“As to my own judgment, I still believe the Episcopal form of Church Government to be Scriptural and Apostolical. I mean, well agreeing with the practice and writings of the Apostles."I

In John Wesley's Letter to Rev. Francis Asbury, who, with Dr. Coke, then pretended to be a Bishop, dated London, Sept.



* Appeal to Men of Reason, Part III. Works, Vol. v., p. 159. + Works, Vol. VII., p. 289. # Works, Vol. VII., p. 284.


[ocr errors]

20th, 1788, only a little over two years before Wesley's death, he thus writes :

“ But, in one point, my dear Brother, I am a little afraid, both the Doctor (Coke) and you differ from me. I study to be little ; you study to be great. I creep; you strut along. I found a school ; you a College! nay, and call it after your own names. Oh, beware! Do not seek to be something! Let me be nothing, and Christ be all in all.'”

"One instance of this your greatness has given me great concern. How can you, how dare you suffer yourself to be called Bishop? I shudder, I start at the very thought! Men may call me a knave, or a fool, a rascal, a scoundrel, and I am content; but they shall never, by my consent, call me Bishop! For my sake, for God's sake, for Christ's sake, put a full end to this! Let the Presbyterians do what they please, but let the Methodists know their calling better."

To shew that Wesley, even to the day of his death, had no intention to ordain a Ministry, we quote from a Sermon published by Mr. Wesley himself, five years after his appointment of preachers for America. (Sermon 39.) He says:

“I wish all of you, who are vulgarly termed Methodists, would se-riously consider what has been said. And, particularly, you whom God hath commissioned to call sinners to repentance. It does by no means follow from hence, that ye are commissioned to baptize, or to administer the Lord's Supper. Ye never dreamed of this for ten or twenty years after ye began to preach. Ye did not then, like Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, 'seek the priesthood also.' Ye know, ‘no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." O, contain yourselves within your own bounds !"

And, in giving his final revision to the rules of the Society, in his last year, the last year of his life, he sends forth the following emphatic language, viz :

"Let all our preachers go to Church ; let all the people go constantly ; let them receive the Sacrament at every opportunity. Warnall against despising the prayers of the Church; against calling our society a Church ; against calling our preachers Ministers.”

The Correspondence of Dr. Coke with Bishop White, in 1791, the former proposing to Bishop White, that the Metho

* Wesley's Works, Vol. VII., p. 188. VOL. XIV.-NO. 1.


« AnteriorContinuar »