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however, should make us very cautious in the exercise of that power.”
In a letter to his son William, about two months later, he says,—“I don't think the Leeds business will occasion much disturbance in the Connexion: its influence is very partial. The best way to counteract it is, for all the preachers to walk closely with God, and to exert themselves in the work to which they are called. Then the Lord will be with them, and bless them, and make them a blessing.”
The winter this year was unusually severe; and the state of the weather and of the roads was frequently such as would have fully justified one who was in the fortysecond year of his itinerancy, in accepting the services of his colleagues, who often kindly offered to be his substitute in the distant country places. It was, however, but seldom that they could prevail upon him to spare himself: his was “a calmly-fervent zeal,” which led him in the spirit of sacrifice steadily to pursue the path of duty, regardless of ease or self-indulgence, willing to spend and be spent in the service of his redeeming Lord. The following instance was supplied by the late Rev. W. Leach. During a severe frost in the depth of the winter, at a time when his nights were much disturbed by the affliction of Mrs. E., he rose early one Sunday morning, after a very broken night, breakfasted at seven, prayed with his family, and at half past eight mounted the circuit-horse to ride to Pensford, a distance of seven miles. A gentleman who saw him get on horseback, and who perceived that the horse's shoes were quite unprepared for the slippery state of the roads, said, “Sir, you are very unsafe, I advise you not to venture.' He took the advice, but did not give up the journey: he set out on foot, walked to Pensford, preached there in the forenoon, took a slight dinner, and walked to Chew Magna, where he preached at half-past two; then walked near two miles to Chew Stoke, and preached at six. Mr. E. mentions the circumstance in his journal, and remarks:“Certainly I should not have chosen such a day's work, but there was no other way, except disappointing three congregations. It was a happy day to my soul, and I was less fatigued than might be expected. Surely the Lord gives strength. To him be glory. I could not have
done so ten years ago. May all my powers be consecrated to the Lord.”
Mr. Entwisle was a true Christian patriot: he loved his country, and felt a lively interest in public affairs ; although as a Christian minister he never regarded it as his duty to take any prominent part in matters merely political. The question which almost exclusively occupied the public mind about this period, “ Catholic Emancipation,"—to use the current phrase,-deeply interested him. He was a friend to liberty, both civil and religious, and looked with jealousy upon every measure which endangered either. Every thing in the shape of pains and penalties on account of religious opinions was abhorrent to his feelings; but he feared that the religious views held by the Roman Catholics, and their connexion with a foreign potentate, were such as to render it impossible to entrust them with equal political power, without endangering both the civil and religious liberties of the nation at large; the very genius of Popery being in his view essentially and unchangeably hostile to liberty and all the dearest interests of man. He therefore viewed with alarm the sudden and startling change of policy adopted by the ministry of the day, fearing it to be such a divergence from the sound course marked out by our Protestant forefathers, as, if steadily pursued and followed out to its legitimate results, would issue in the subversion of the constitution, the extinction of the free Protestant spirit of the nation, and the decline of our national greatness and prosperity. With Dr. Croly, he thought Great Britain the divinely appointed depository and guardian of Protestant truth, and that unfaithfulness to the national trust would be followed by manifest tokens of the just displeasure of God. He thought, read, and prayed much on the subject; and in his correspondence, which at that time was pretty extensive, took pains to ascertain the views of men whose information and whose connexion with Ireland gave them advantages for forming a correct judgment on this much disputed point. Recent occurrences having invested this subject with new interest, some extracts from his journal and correspondence, perhaps, may not be unacceptable. They will serve to shew his sentiments respecting the measure itself, and his views of the part
which we as a religious body are called to take on such occasions.
“ March 7.--A dark cloud seems to hang over our country. Popery raises her brazen front, and Radicals seem to have it in their hearts to overturn the state. I fear there is something judicial in this. The great body of Protestants (so called) in this highly favoured country have no religion, and there is among professors too much of the spirit of the world. O Lord, arise, and maintain thy own cause, and let thy right hand have the preeminence."
His friend, Dr. Clarke, in reply to some inquiries, remarks in a letter written about this time:-“My opinion of our present ministry is, that they are betraying the king, the country, and the church, by delivering them into the hands of the Papists. How is it, that our President and our Heads of Houses do not call upon people to petition both Houses, and carry, if necessary, our remonstrances against those Papists, even to the foot of the throne? Shall we be guiltless before God, if we sit still ? Alas for us! Ei Cabod ! Ei Cabod !"
Mr. E. perfectly agreed with the worthy Doctor in his views of the measure, and of the ministry who had brought it forward, as well as in the duty of giving it the most strenuous opposition; but differed from him in opinion as to the mode of opposition, as will appear by the following extracts :
Mar. 14.-Received a letter from Mr. Mason, as Secretary of the Committee of Privileges. They have met, and come to the following resolution : That with respect to the Bill for the Relief of His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, now before the House of Commons, the Committee of Privileges do not think it their duty to take any proceedings in their collective capacity: but every member of the Methodist Society will of course pursue such steps in his individual capacity on this occasion, as he may think right.” A wise conclusion, in my opinion; for, as a religious body, I trust the Methodists wiū never move collectively on any civil or political question."
“ Thurs. 26.—Received a letter from the Secretary of the Brunswick Club in Dublin, requesting the Methodists every where to petition against Popery. I doubt the propriety of this. I have signed petitions, in common
with the citizens and inhabitants of Bristol, to the Lords and Commons, and to the King; but I doubt the propriety of the Methodists, as such, embarking in political matters. It would create much contention too in our own societies, as there exists a great difference of opinion on the Catholic question.
“ Tues. 31.—My mind is more and more oppressed with the fearful apprehension, that despotism in politics, if not popery too, will oppress our once happy country. If judgment must begin with us, O Lord, let it be mixed with mercy. My way, I perceive, is to live near to God; to walk with Him.
“ Tues. April 7.-It seems the Catholic Relief Bill is likely to pass the House of Lords by a great majority! What will be the end of these things? I fear consequences. But the Lord reigns !"
From a respectable Wesleyan Minister in Ireland, Mr. E. received the following letter. in reply to various inquiries in relation to the all-engrossing topic of the day.
“ REV. AND DEAR SIR, “ Yours of the 16th inst. came duly to hand, wherein you mention the high degree of excitement created by the Catholic question on your side of the water. I may truly say, the feeling is not less ardent with us: all here appear deeply interested in the result. On the one side, all seems hope, and on the other all fear. Truly it is an awful crisis. It is well to know that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.'
“You ask my opinion on the following questions: viz. 1. 'Is it probable that the proposed measure will satisfy the Catholics generally, without further concessions, and religious advantages of a pecuniary nature ?' I answer, No: they will receive it not as a matter of grace, but as an act of justice; and be thankful for it, not to His Grace, or the Government of which he is the head, or the Parliament, but to the Catholic Association, &c.
“At present the Roman Catholics are obliged to pay tithes and taxes, in common with the Protestants of this country, for the support of the Protestant Clergy, the building and repairs of Protestant churches, for sextons, vestry clerks, &c.; and it is not to be expected that the
admission of a few of their body into parliament will reconcile them to a continuance of these imposts, to which they have always been so hostile. The present Relief Bill may keep them silent upon the subject, until its operation bring into places of political power and influence some of their men; but then, they will in all likelihood speak out as loudly, as ever they have done, and as effectually. At the Settlement of 1688, as well as in the days of Cromwell, there was a vast confiscation of property, both civil and ecclesiastical; and the Roman Catholics know well the estates and churches which were taken from their ancestors; and it is equally probable these will be claimed, in the same tone and ultimately with the same success. And although there is a clause in the present Bill which forbids disturbance of the settlement of property, it is not likely that that clause will be found more invulnerable than the various statutes embodied in the Act of Settlement, which have been, and by the present Bill passing, shall stand repealed. All, all, in the estimation of the Catholics, and the • Liberals,' who advocate their cause, will be just and equitable: and for my life I cannot see how the Roman Catholics of Ireland, can consistently with the principles of their Faith, and the common character of human beings in general, · be satisfied' with any thing short of a full restoration of property, and the re-establishment of their religion in this country.
• 2nd. “Is it likely that the Protestant and Catholic population will live together in greater quiet than they have done ?' I answer: I think not. The passing of the Bill may create a kind feeling between the Catholics and those of the Protestants who have favoured and advocated the measure, but not I fear with those Protestants who have opposed, and will be dissatisfied with its adoption. Besides, the competition and rivalship for places, &c. hitherto entirely filled up by Protestants, will give rise to habitual contention and conflict, and necessarily produce feelings and jealousies inconsistent with harmony and quiet: and in the immediate event of the Bill passing into law, the triumph of the one party and the mortification of the other will, I fear, create such collision, and produce such consequences, as I do not like to contemplate. Many of the Protestants are al