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holiness over these lands. Under such circumstances, it was, at least, quite natural that more or less of friction should ensue ; and that here, as well as beyond the Atlantic, there should arise opposition against this novel and bustling neighbour, and especially if, here as there, spiritual coldness should characterize, to a greater or less extent, the pre-existing Churches.
What, under the circumstances, was so natural to happen, is a matter of history. Methodism has not traversed this wide-spread country without some collision with Christians and ministers beyond its pale; while even down to this late day, may now and then be heard the echoing of some distant theological skirmish. Meanwhile, past conflicts are, it is to be feared, too sacredly remembered ; and the spirit of sect-a spirit of early intrusion, of facile growth, and of late eradication, has, without question, been far too prevalent in our communion.
If this be so, then to recall and contemplate that phase of Wesley's character toward which this article has glanced, will be as timely and important as its tendency will be healing and refreshing. None, of course, will understand us as appealing to that great man, as to any superhuman authority. We shall be understood rather as referring to one who, though fallible, and partaking of human imperfection, yet stands out before the
of Methodism as confessedly one of the brightest and purest of uninspired examples -a man whose spirit and charity, as well as his activity and efficiency, approximated as near to perfection as any seen along the reach of many
centuries. It could assuredly operate no harm to any class of Christians or Christian ministers, to study faithfully
this aspect of that sublime character; while consistency itself would suggest, that, for those who really and profoundly reverence his name and worth, the study seems peculiarly appropriate. It cannot be denied that much of Wesley's impress is upon the denomination to which he, instrumentally, gave exist
His opinions in theology and church polity have commanding influence wherever Methodism is known. But Wesley had a heart to be studied, as well as a head-and a heart that answered to the head with a harmony never surpassed in mortal man. No man can claim to be a genuine Wesleyan who contents himself with receiving the mark of Wesley's mind, without obtaining, in his own person and being, the full moral and spiritual impression of Wesley's heart.
WHETHER, OR NOT, THE SPIRIT OF WESLEY POINTS THE METHODIST CHURCH TO ANY SPECIAL ACTIVITY TOWARDS TRUE CATHOLICISM ?
This inquiry, it would seem, must be answered affirmatively, just as certainly as any such special activity could be predicated of Wesley himself. Of him, we think, it has been shown above, that he was as eminent for catholicity as he was for energy: also, that it was one of his strong and persevering endeavours to awaken and promote this heavenly spirit wherever he moved. Exactly this is the lesson which his example and spirit convey to all his observant admirers. “My children,” he seems to say, “the time is short—and salvation is all. See to it that ye love one another with pure hearts fervently; and that ye love all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. Labour not for sect, but to build up the whole Catholic Church. Leave off contention before it be meddled
with. Repress the first risings of the spirit of strife, partyism, variance, or hatred. Stand not aloof from your neighbour for opinion's sake. Is his heart right with thy heart ? that is, does he love the same Saviour, and is he labouring to bring sinners to the same heaven? Then give him your hand. You cannot, indeed, think exactly as he does; yet sympathize with his spirit-rejoice in his prosperity. Help him, as you may be able, in the work of the Lord. Wait not for him to love you. Nay, love him, and pray for him, and seek to aid his success, though he may
stand aloof from you, and count you an intruder and a heretic. Labour to diffuse the spirit of heavenly charity through all the families and tribes of the spiritual Israel. Your province is not to divide, but to bind together with ties of holy brotherhood and affection. You are to inflict no needless wounds, but to heal, rather, the lacerated body of Christ. It ill becomes you to say, “Stand by, for I am holier than thou.' Covet, rather, to lie at the feet of all Christ's little ones.
Breathe out no sounds of harshnessjarring the sweet harmonies of heavenly fellowship. Study peace-kindness-universal love. Remember that the saints are going home—and there shall be no night there. While on their way, there is some darkness. · They see not exactly alike, but their hearts are all leaning toward Jesus, and he loves them all as one, and prays that they all may be one, like the oneness of himself and the Father. And so they will be. Yet a few days, and there will be one fold and one shepherd. The fire is already kindling that shall burn up all the chaff of division. Cherish that kindly fire, for it is holy. Run, all of you; run for the bright consummation, when the discords of Zion shall have slept their last sleep, and when no lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up
but the redeemed shall walk together there, while there shall be nought to hurt or destroy in all the holy mountain.”
Would not exhortations like these flow from the lips of Wesley, were he permitted to speak, this day, to the myriads of his followers ?
WHETHER, OR NOT, THE WESLEYAN SYSTEM IS, AS A WHOLE, SPECIALLY FAVOURABLE TO ACTION IN THIS DIRECTION ?
A momentous inquiry this! And it strongly invites a more ample and elaborate discussion than can be afforded in this con xion. et we are ready to submit at once—and we do so with unfeigned pleasure —that here, again, the affirmative has the truth. For, in the first place, whoever refers to the Wesleyan theology—by which expression we only mean the theology which Wesley received and taught, and which Wesleyan ministers generally receive and teach
- he will find there all the great cardinal principles of the Church Catholic: the Trinity, Atonement, Depravity, the Holy Spirit's Influence, Justification by Faith, Regeneration, Sanctification, General Judgment, and Final and Eternal Rewards and Punishments. These truths are honestly believed and faithfully preached in Methodism. And they are the capital truths of the general Church of Christ on earth. Then, as to the distinctive dogmas, and such as have produced the different organizations, or families, in the Church Catholic, there appears to be no one of these which, so far as the Methodist family is concerned, need hinder Methodism from
tendering a catholic and holy fellowship to every one of the other families. Contemplate now a true Wesleyan minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To the Congregationalist of New England, or the Presbyterian of the West, Midst, or South, this man may turn, saying, “Brother! your views and mine touching the Decrees do doubtless differ, as truly, and, it may be, almost as widely, as you differ among yourselves upon the same subject. On the naked question of Absolute Perseverance, there is, to be sure, a more certain and direct issue between us ;—while even here we meet in practice,—both parties alike urging the inspired exhortation to take heed lest we come short at last. These, and other minor differences of opinion, are no sufficient reason for withdrawing from you my fellowship. “Give me thine hand.'” Turning to one of the great Baptist family, and uttering the same sentiments with regard to whatever of Calvinism may be existing there, he may add as follows: “But, brother! you doubt my baptism, and the inspiration of my practice on this subject; and for one or both of these reasons, you think
you cannot consistently invite me to your communion-table, though you count me a Christian. I appreciate your difficulty and your explanation ;while, on my own part, let me add, no such difficulty lies in my path. I doubt neither your baptism nor your piety. "Give me thine hand.'” Turning yet again, and addressing himself to the Protestant Episcopalian, whether bishop, priest, or deacon, we seem to hear him saying, “ Brother! to you the dogma of apostolical succession-succession not only of doctrine,
bishops-appears vital to the existence of the