« EdellinenJatka »
O Lord, use the rod, and not the sword. On thine infinite mercy I cast my soul, my all.
“Oct. 13.—During this week the anguish and distress of my soul have been great indeed. All this while my soul lay prostrate in the dust. I loathed myself and sin. I longed to be holy. I groaned unutterable things when I could not to my own apprehension, pray at all. Blessed be God, this evening, my soul is at peace. I feel no ecstacy or transport, but a calm waiting upon God. The snare is broken. My heart is at liberty. And now I verily believe my late exercises are for my good and God's glory. God will help me. In him I confide : to his glory will I live and die.
Nov. 3.-A painful trying week. Three persons, unknown to me and the leaders, had put up an organ in Pitt street Chapel. Many were offended. "A fermentation took place. I thought it my duty, 1. To censure the persons who had acted so unconstitutionally: 2. As the organ was against rule, to have it silenced and removed : 3. If they wished to petition Conference for the repeal of the rule against organs, I had no objection. Perhaps some may be offended with my conduct, but I acted according to rule; and was enabled to be perfectly calm, though firm. I was supported by the leaders; and those who have done wrong, (I believe, from the best motives, acknowledged it. I was afraid the peace of the society would be broken; now I hope not. Since then, my mind has been much more at liberty; my studies have been more pleasant; and I hope God will make me more useful in my generation.
“Sat. Nov. 10.—Began to meet the children: about fifty were present. O may the Lord assist us to do good to them. During the past week I have enjoyed much peace
my own mind and pleasure in my work. While reading Mr. Wesley's Journals, I have been charmed with his steady and cheerful perseverance in well-doing. Oppositions and difficulties only served to stimulate him to greater diligence and activity; and as he believed that God had employed him, he believed also, that he would help him. Indeed he seems to have felt habitually what he once expressed to his brother Charles :—If the Lord bid me fly, he will furnish me with wings.'
“ Dec. 15. -Ebenezer! Hitherto hath God helped
me. During the past week I have been much indulged with the divine presence. My mind has in general been stayed upon God and kept in peace. Yet I have laboured under a degree of discouragement in my Lord's work. I have not been enabled to study, pray, and preach as I could wish. I have had uncomfortable reasonings, at times, whether I am in the right place. But I perceive, such reasonings hinder me in my studies, and discourage me in public. I did not choose my own station. The cloud of providence went before me. I must then stir up the gift of God that is in me, and leave myself, my work, and my success with him. In
reading over the diary of my late valuable friend Lomas, 1 : I find his exercises and reasonings were much like my
He has now weathered every storm, and gained the haven of eternal rest. Well, by the grace of God, I will mind my work, and trust in him with all my
heart. 'I will go in the strength of the Lord God. I will make mention of his righteousness, and of his only.'
Dec. 26.—Met the stewards, &c. to settle the quarterly accounts. How much have we to do with temporal things ! Lord, preserve the ministers from a worldly spirit.
“Feb. 2, 181].—The affairs of this large circuit take
up much of my time and attention; and to direct and To govern requires much wisdom and discretion, firmness,
"Feb. 6.–Visited Stockport. Religion seems low here. The large factories are ruinous to health, morals, and religion. In another century, if the present system of working in factories be continued, a race of poor, effeminate, emaciated creatures will rise up.
“Feb. 9. Manchester.—I am now on a visit to my aged father, who is sick. I have hopes and fears concerning his salvation. O how happy should I be in such a visit as my name's sake Joseph had, recorded Gen. xlviii. Lord, have mercy upon my poor dear father.
“Feb. 16.—My heart glows with gratitude. On my late visit to Manchester, I found my father more disposed to seek God than ever I knew him. I trust he will at last fly to Christ.
May 15.—Heard that my brother William is near death. Set off to Manchester. Found him very weak,
but happy. “Thurs. 16.—This morning administered the Lord's supper to my brother. He is ready for glory. He told me much of my being the means of his salvation. To God be the glory.
“ Sat. 19.—The dying state of my dear brother William affects me much. He is only thirty-two years old, and is leaving a wife and four children; but he is happy in God. His ghastly visage is impressed on my imagination. O may I live for eternity. My turn must come; and when, and how, I know not.
O may I be always ready: may I be found of God in peace, without spot and blameless.
“ May 29.—Heard that my brother William is gone home. He died in great peace. Lord, prepare me.
May 31.—At ten o'clock this morning we interred my brother. Many wept much. He died esteemed and respected by all who knew him. Two years ago he was brought to God. He was a quiet, retired Christian. Without ostentation, he was truly pious. In his last sickness, God highly honoured him. He left a glorious testimony. O may my last end be like his. I ask no higher honour in death than he has been favoured with. Lord, help me to live and die to thee.
“July 1.—The dispute about the organ runs very high indeed. Surely an enemy hath done this. There is more talk about the organ than about the presence of Christ in the new chapel. I fear the Spirit will be grieved; and if he be not the glory in the midst of us, we shall
My soul has been distressed beyond meaO Lord, give me wisdom and discretion: give me a single eye, and let my whole body be full of light. And graciously dispose the minds of the brethren to mutual forbearance."
Whatever tended to interrupt the harmony of any Christian society, was regarded by my father with great apprehension. He was a lover of peace, and justly deemed it essential to prosperity. This dispute about the organ, therefore, gave him great uneasiness: he feared lest the cause of God should sustain injury. He saw that much depended upon the measures he adopted, and the spirit in which he acted. He felt the need of much heavenly wisdom and love, that he might be enabled to act with firmness and moderation. He laboured
peace and love
hard to repress the violence of extreme men on either side, and to throw oil on the troubled waters. He asked counsel of the Lord, and he sought it by consultation with his brethren. Among others, he wrote to Dr. Clarke upon the subject, from whom he received a friendly letter, written with his usual brotherly freedom and kindness, in which he strongly expresses his wellknown objections to the organ, and his high admiration of the Liturgy, which there was some talk of introducing in Brunswick Chapel. However some wise and good men may differ in opinion from the Doctor on these points, all will agree with him as to the importance of
among Christian brethren. The following extracts from the Doctor's letter relate chiefly to the latter topic.
“Dublin, July 4, 1811. ** MY DEAR BROTHER,
you have been kind enough to favour me with an account of your circumstances in Liverpool, I shall simply give you my opinion on the subject.
"The peace of the church of Christ is certainly of infinitely greater consequence than any house is, in which that church may be called to worship. I suppose a new chapel was necessary at Liverpool ; and may be, if properly managed, an endless blessing to the present generation, and to multitudes yet unborn. But should this said chapel become a source of contention, and a means of separating very friends by producing dissensions in the society, it would have been better, that a stone of it had never been laid. Satan is aware, that every chapel which is called for by an increase of congregations, is a fatal blow to his interest; hence he will, by every possible means, attempt to prevent the building; and if he cannot thus succeed, he will make that temple, the building of which he could not prevent, the means of strife and animosity; as he well knows, the cause of Christ can never prosper, where there is strife. Hence I have scarcely ever seen a chapel built, that did not become, at least for a time, a cause of jealousies, evil surmisings, and unbrotherly tempers; and sometimes even worse evils have taken place. Now I pray God to prevent every thing of this kind among you, where the cause of God has so long and so gloriously triumphed. If, indeed, Satan can gain his end in this business, he will have such an honour as he has not lately enjoyed.
“With respect to the introduction of the Liturgy of the Church of England: this book I reverence next to the book of God. Next to the Bible it has been the depository of the pure religion of Christ; and had it not been laid up there, and established by Acts of Parliament, I fear that religion would, long ere this, have been driven to the wilderness. Most devoutly do I wish, that wherever we have service on the forenoon of the Lord's day, we may have the Prayers read. This service contains that form of sound words, to which in succeeding ages an appeal may be successfully made for the establishment of the truth professed by preceding generations. Had it not been, under God, for this blessed book, the Liturgy of the British Church, I verily believe Methodism had never existed.
“I see plainly, that where we read these prayers, our congregations become better settled, better edified, and put further out of the reach of false doctrine. What is become of the numerous churches which have no such form of sound words? They are become, or are becoming Socinian and Deistical. Introduce the Church Service in God's name; not in any abridgment, but in the genuine original. Give my love to the blessed people of Liverpool, and tell them that this is the conscientious advice of their old servant and most hearty well-wisher. I could say much more, but the business of the Conference prevents me. So far we are going on blessedly. With love to sister Entwisle, and all your colleagues and their wives, I am, my dear Brother,
On Friday, July 26th, Mr. E. arrived at Sheffield, where the Conference was to be held, and was most hospitably and kindly entertained at Mr. Holy's, together with Dr. Coke, and Messrs. Averill, Benson, Moore, and Edmondson. About three hundred preachers attended. Mr. Atmore was elected President, and Dr. Coke, Secretary. Peace and brotherly love prevailed. The following memoranda were written during this Conference :