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sifting. I wrote to Dr. W. in November last, urging him to acknowledge his fault, and cease to be a party man ; but it was in vain.
" I am expecting soon to quit mortality. My all is committed to Him who redeemed me by his precious blood. With kindest love to Mr. Moore and all the brethren, I am,
“Your ever affectionate
“ JAMES Wood." “P.S. We have peace and harmony in Bristol: blessed be God. Excuse all errors and interlineations. Writing is to me now a great task.”
The dangers apprehended by this venerable man of God were precisely those which had occurred to Mr. Entwisle, as demanding the exercise of the utmost possible vigilance; and he rejoiced to find, as he had anticipated, that though formidable, they were not inevitable. He constantly watched over the students for good. He insisted upon early rising; and, in order to this, upon retirement to rest at a proper time. Exact order and punctuality were observed in all the domestic arrangements. During the appointed hours of study, they were either alone in their several apartments, or assembled under the eye of their tutors. In the intervals, he was almost constantly with them, and taught them by example as well as by precept, that it was both possible and unspeakably advantageous, to be habitually cheerful without levity, and serious without gloom. It was his constant study, in prayerful dependance upon divine aid, to render conversation at meal-times, and during the hours of necessary relaxation, at once agreeable, edifying, and spiritual.
He dwelt among the students as a father among his children, cherishing the most affectionate paternal solici. tude for their well-being, and receiving from them the most gratifying proof of filial confidence, respect, and love. He regularly met them in class; at first, all together: then, as their number increased, in two, and finally in three separate classes. In these weekly meetings he was close, searching, and affectionate in his inquiries and counsels: and, ever advancing before them in Christian holiness, he furnished a demonstration of
its attainableness; and by an exhibition of its loveliness, supplied a powerful motive to its pursuit. And not in these meetings only,—specially instituted for purposes of Christian fellowship,—but also at all other favourable opportunities, from the fulness of his heart, he spoke to them on the subject of personal religion ; at the breakfast, dinner, and tea-table,– in the garden, and by the way-side, he watched for opportunities to speak a word in season, with a view to promote among them deep experience of the things of God.
Having been accustomed from early life to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” he carefully checked all tendencies towards a self-indulgent spirit; and by his own example, as well as by his fatherly counsels, taught the necessity of habitual self-denial and diligence : often remarking, in Mr. Wesley's words, that
we must work on earth, and rest in heaven. With this view he promoted among the students early meetings at five in the morning, for Christian fellowship and united prayer ;—and zealous endeavours to promote the salvation of souls by out-door preaching in and about London, and by frequent Sabbath labours in the adjoining circuits. Their morning devotional meetings conduced greatly to their spiritual improvement; while their public labours were much owned of God, in the conversion of sinners, and the revival of religion in several localities chiefly supplied by the students.
His personal acquaintance with Mr. Wesley,—his intimate connexion with the great and good men who took the lead after the removal of our venerable founder,– his extensive knowledge of the early history of Methodism, and the active part which for many years he had himself taken in the management of connexional affairs, -gave him decided advantages in his endeavours to give a right direction to the ministerial character of the young men committed to his pastoral care.
This he regarded as his special province, while their theological and literary pursuits were most ably directed by the Theological and Classical Tutors. In his private conversations with the students, and occasionally in public addresses to them, he was able to communicate information respecting the history, polity, progress, conflicts, and triumphs of Methodism, which no existing books
could supply. While extensive observation and long experience enabled him to give them invaluable directions in respect to every part of their future work.
That he might avoid tedious repetition, and that no topic of importance might be omitted, he kept a memorandum of the subjects of conversation and address : though this contains for the most part merely the heads of discourse, with occasionally a little filling up of the outline, yet a few extracts may serve to show what were the topics to which attention was directed, and what kind of influence was brought to bear upon the inmates of that important institution.
“ Attend to your personal religion. “Take heed to yourselves.' Walk with God. Be with him every hour. Your religion, I am persuaded, is genuine ; let it be preserved in a vigorous and growing state. Let it be diffusive. Be examples to believers. Embody religion, and make it visible: then no man will despise your youth.
“ You are about to visit your friends. Be serious, though cheerful among them. Often retire for secret prayer. Keep up, as far as possible, some order in your reading and studies : your friends will see the propriety of it. In company:-not too long at once. Converse profitably, to edification. Be not forward to speak much of what you have studied and learnt at the Institution. Rather let the benefit appear in your public preaching and private conversation.
“ Beware of levity in company. Some preachers have indulged in foolish talking and jesting.' The very persons who seemed to be pleased at the time, on reflection have been stumbled. If after preaching on heaven, and Christ, and perfect love, you are trifling and facetious, you unsay in the parlour, what you have said in the pulpit. O resolve to keep up the character of Methodist Preachers ! Always keep in view in private, as well as in public, the great end of the Christian ministry. Let your zeal be habitual, and in constant exercise; in the pulpit, parlour, and every where. Let every family you visit, be the better for it. Let your conversation, prayers, &c. leave good impressions on all with whom you have intercourse. I can recollect the manner and spirit of some of our old preachers. It was common when in their circuits, to retire as soon as they arrived at a place,
to pray in secret. Their conversation was spiritual and profitable, even to the children and servants.
“ Avoid night studies. They are injurious to health, incommode families, and are extremely inconvenient to a married man with a family. “ Rise early. On this subject I have often spoken
It is beneficial to health, favourable to piety, helpful to study and mental improvement, and conducive to good order in the family, and in all respects. When the habit is formed, it is not only easy to rise early, but pleasant : you will not need a monitor to call you. Contrast late and early rising, as it respects tranquility or perturbation of mind, and the comfort or discomfort of others. Late risers are generally late in every thing; often to the annoyance of others.
“Let me recommend days of prayer, with fasting, or abstinence, frequently and statedly. One day in every week observe out of the ordinary way—any day that is most convenient. This you will find useful.
“ With respect to marriage; act according to rule• Take no step,' &c. Be not hasty: ask advice : pray. Consider, it is a serious thing to enter into partnership for life! Natural temper-discretion-piety—love of Methodism-no aversion to itinerancy. Much comfort or discomfort : usefulness promoted or hindered. Wait, if you can, till your probationary state is finished, before you engage. If engaged, be faithful.
In preaching, aim at usefulness. Always preach to save a soul. Let a present, free, full salvation always be prominent in your sermons. Let them be plain, simple, earnest. Feel what you say, and let others feel. Not usually long. Have short introductions, warm exhortations, and close applications. Beware of formality in your public exercises. Plead for out-pourings of the Spirit. Let me also recommend a reverent use of the sacred volume in the pulpit; a solemn, deliberate repetition of the Lord's Prayer; and a serious, feeling method of giving out the hymns.
Pay particular attention to meeting the Societies on Sunday evenings. Study addresses to the societies as well as sermons: unless you do this, you will not keep up the interest of society-meetings.
Make a serious business of the renewal of the tickets
at the quarterly visitation. Be kind and affectionate, yet searching. The Rev. Joseph Taylor is an excellent model. Be sympathising with the diffident, tempted, and afflicted, whether in mind, body, or estate.
* Set up weekly meetings for the Children. Talk to them in a way which they can understand. They like to be noticed, and are susceptible of good impressions. They will remember what you say; and the seed may take deep root in their minds, and spring up and bring forth much fruit.
* Attend to pastoral duties. Visit the people, especially the sick and aged—not for mere chit-chat. Let every person you visit be the better for it. herd goes out in the morning, examines the fences, stops the gaps, seeks the strayed sheep, attends to the diseased, &c. The physician visits his patients, feels the pulse, examines the tongue, inquires respecting symp, toms, watches the operation of his medicines, &c. All his previous studies, reading, attending lectures, walking the hospitals, dissections, attendance on operations, &c. had a reference to active employment, and qualified him for his work; did not, however, reuder study unnecessary. Experience proves the truth or fallacy of former theories, increases his knowledge, or corrects his mistakes: and when study and practice go together, a man is in the way to attain eminence.
“Great advantage will accrue to yourselves from pastoral visits, in the peace and prosperity of your own souls, in the knowledge of human nature in general, and in the knowledge of individuals. And to the people. You will know their wants; you will be furnished with subjects; you will keep up a variety in your sermons ; you will feel that you have access to their minds; you will be able to speak to the hearts of your hearers; their minds, conciliated by your visits, will drink in what you say; and God will give his blessing.
“ Perhaps want of time will be urged as an objection, Let the schoolmaster, the shepherd, the medical manallege this as an apology for the neglect of pupils, sheep, patients! Consider. Pastoral visits form an essential part of the work to which the Lord has called you, and for which the people support you,
The time thus employed will pay well for yourselves, and for prosperity in