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and Wesley, and it was some years before it became the almost exclusive designation of the Wesleyans; for, long after a separation took place, we read of Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodism.

The term "Methodist," like that of "Nazarene," "Catharist," "Lollard," "Puritan," and a thousand others that might be named, was one of reproach. There is a magic power for good or for evil in a name. A single breath can thus call forth all the admiration, the love, the malignity, or contempt of the soul. Howard, Judas, Jezebel, Nero, &c., are talismanic; and so was the word "Methodist" a hundred years ago. It was a truly economic term, for as it was supposed to be synonymous with all that was fanatical, hypocritical, seditious, designing and contemptible, the utterance of the word saved the wits, the nobility, the bishops, the clergy and the rabble, the labour of pouring forth a volume of ribaldry and abuse. Such was the state of our country in the middle of the last century. If the idea of a "London Charivari” had then existed, caricatures of the Methodists would have afforded almost infinite fun.

Some writer, whether from contempt or a better motive, has said, "Curiosity, thy name is woman!" We will not stay here to reprobate or vindicate the charge. We would there was more inquiry in the world, especially on the subject of religion. Nothing would be so fatal to the empire of Satan as a candid investigation "of the truth as it is in Jesus." In the case we are about to mention, the inquisitiveness of woman worked wonders. We are told, that "from motives of curiosity a few noble ladies of the Hastings family were induced to attend the preaching of the Methodists." The scriptural character of the discourses, and the fervour of the preachers arrested their attention, and, as in the case of Lydia, "the Lord opened their hearts." Having experienced the virtues of the water of life themselves, they invited all around to come and drink, and live. One of these converts, Lady Margaret Hastings, in conversing with the Countess of Huntingdon, assured her that "since she had known and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for life and salvation, she had been as happy as an angel." What a train of serious thought these words awakened. All the sources of honour and pleasure had, as Lady Huntingdon fondly imagined, been within her reach. She could trace in her genealogy a long line of distinguished ancestors, some of whom could boast of royal blood or family alliances with kings; and wealth in abundance had been their lot. Mansions and wide domains had been possessed and were still enjoyed, by the various ramified families of her noble relatives. The arts and the muses had ministered to her and her sires. Her escutcheon showed the heraldic honours of her house. Her coronet and jewels bespoke her distinguished order and affluence. How often had she shone in the levée and the assembly room, where all that earth could do seemed to have been

effected, to impart splendour and pleasure; and yet her ladyship was not happy. There was "an aching void," and marvellous to tell, one of her illustrious relations had become " as happy as an angel" by believing the doctrines taught by that maligned and ridiculed body, the Methodists! Here, then, a new scene was opened. To be " as happy as an angel" was worth a sacrifice; and therefore by self-denial, charity, and penance, she resolved to procure such bliss. But alas! the effort failed, for instead of becoming more holy and pure, and more worthy of the smile of heaven, her weakness, sinfulness, and depravity, were more and more unfolded. Sin seemed to gather strength from the very means she had adopted to banish it from her soul. She was compelled to exclaim in the language of one of her hymns,

"The more I strove against its power,

I sinned and stumbled but the more."

Her "righteousness" proved to be but "filthy rags," and all hope from herself was gone. In the midst of this depression of soul, a dangerous illness ensued, and eternity stared her in the face. But "man's extremity is God's opportunity." The words of Lady Margaret Hastings were applied to her mind. by the Holy Spirit, and she found joy and peace in believing, and henceforth resolved to live for the glory of him by whose death she had obtained life and salvation. Such was one of the first and most glorious achievements of Methodism. Lady Margaret had caught its spirit, and in her turn communicated it to Lady Huntingdon, and by means of the Countess it spread like leaven among many of her own rank, as well as among numbers of the poorer classes of society. Henceforth we have coronet, jewels, wealth, and influence, laid at the foot of the cross. Her chief desire is to bring souls to Christ. So perfectly is the Countess lost in the Christian, that we forget her rank in her seraphic benevolence. She has now joined the aristocracy of heaven, and the one object of her life is to bless mankind. For if her drawingroom is thrown open to the nobility, that they may listen to the evangelical strains of a Whitfield, she is also found in the cottage of the poor, and by the couch of the dying, pouring the balm of Gospel truth into their souls, and earnestly praying that the Spirit of God may follow her labours with his influence. It was indeed a goodly spectacle, on which angels must have looked with ecstacy, to have seen this honourable woman acting as a home missionary, reading, exhorting, and praying in the houses of the destitute, at the same time that her pen, and her rank, were employed to draw the wealthy and the titled to the feet of the Saviour. We shall recur to this subject again, but before we close, would just observe, what a change would have taken place in our country and the world, if all ladies of rank and wealth had imitated the

example of the Countess. Not a whisper could have been breathed against an aristocracy, that thus used its power to bless every human being with truth, liberty, happiness, and eternal life. Who, though ten thousand thousand worlds with all their glory were offered as a recompense, would exchange the position of the Countess at the bar of heaven, for that of any of the daughters of wealth, or noble birth, who have passed into eternity without having answered the great philanthropic and evangelical end of their being? Woman was created to be, in an especial manner, a ministering angel to our world, and noble women, above all others, have the greatest facilities for accomplishing this glorious mission. The existence, character, zeal, and usefulness, of the Countess leave all who do not follow her steps without the least excuse. What a solemn thought, that a gentle spirit of so much love and mercy should, at the day of judgment, be a swift witness against such crowds of her own sex and order, who had all the means of saving the miserable, and giving to rank its brightest lustre, but were too vain and heartless to save themselves or bless others.

(To be continued.)

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY.

HALF of the nineteenth century has nearly rolled away, and yet we may affirm that it is not gone. The events that have marked its course are destined not only to give it a prominence in the records of time, but in the deep musings of eternity. Ages to come will dwell with ecstacy on its achievements. We have arrived at only its fiftieth year, and yet had the great trumpet been blown through the land, and a national, or a world's jubilee been celebrated, our rejoicings could not have been charged with fanaticism or extravagance. In this small fraction of the course of time, more has been done for knowledge, philanthrophy, and religion, than in whole decades of by-gone centuries. Examine any thousand years from the creation until now, and it will be found that this half century has surpassed them. Not that we are disposed to underrate the deeds of the men and women of other days. To the patriots and philanthropists of this age, we may address the words of our Lord, "Other men have laboured, and ye have entered into their labours." The building of Solomon's temple was easy when all the money and materials were collected, and every stone had been prepared at a distance; but still to accomplish the latter, a much larger amount of labour was necessary, than to effect the former, and yet the erection and completion of the building was hailed with far

more applause than all the cost and toil that had been previously expended. So the blessings we enjoy, and the wonders that have been wrought in the last fifty years are the result of an incalculable degree of suffering and selfdenial on the part of our forefathers. Herein is that saying true, "One soweth and another reapeth," and it gladdens one's heart to be able to add, that the harvest will be gathered in another world, and there "he that soweth and he that reapeth will rejoice together."

Great were

The scenes amidst which the nineteenth century was ushered into the world were those of general excitement. America had just broken loose from the control of the mother country, and had commenced a new era of thought, liberty, and religion. The earthquake of the French Revolution had convulsed the old European world, and had been felt in India and China. the searchings of heart, which these stupendous events had awakened. The spirits of many began to fail for fear, while they foreboded what was to come to pass. It seemed almost as if the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse had sounded together, or the seven mysterious thunders of that marvellous book had again uttered their voices, and a second command had been given to seal what they proclaimed. But amidst all this confusion and terror, we behold the angels of mercy who had been nourished, equipped, and inspired in the Holy of Holies, coming forth to bless the world, and by their light and love, reduce all to order; and thus while there were the "wind," the "earthquake," and the "fire," there was also a "small still voice" which came from heaven and whispered, "Peace."

The last years of the eighteenth century were the cradle of those philanthropic and religious enterprises which shall bring the millennium. There were, indeed, "giants in those days;" men and women who with but few fellow-labourers, and small resources, dared to originate plans that had in view nothing less than the universal emancipation and salvation of mankind. Since the Apostles, nothing on so grand a scale, had been contemplated or devised. Wesley and Whitfield had stirred the soul of England and America. The former left a denomination bearing his name; but the seraphic soul of the latter gave him no time for this. He was too much of an apostolical evangelist to form a sect. Like the angel of the Revelation, he flew as on the wings of heaven, having "the everlasting gospel to preach to all nations." England, Scotland, and America-the soul of the world-hung with breathless silence on his lips, and were quickened into new life by his eloquence. Rich and poor sat at his feet and heard the word. In the name of his master, he said, "Let there be light, and there was light;" and that "light was the life of men." Not only the political but the intellectual and moral world was in motion. Fox and Chatham in the legislature gave an irresistible voice to

liberty and humanity. Howard visited the prisons; Jenner, by vaccination, said to the destroying angel, which annually swept a million into eternity, "It is enough, stay now thy hand;" and the plague was stayed. Slavery received its death-wound from the hand of Clarkson and his coadjutors. Raikes opened the Sunday-school; and soon Joseph Lancaster was to do the same for day-schools. Other holy men and women, whose hoary heads some of us remember, laid the foundation of those glorious institutions-The Bible, The Missionary, and Tract Societies. Most of the founders of these stupendous instrumentalities for the salvation of the world, have slept with their fathers, but their works follow them, and shall be sung, not only in the millennium, but in heaven; and thus, when the morning of the nineteenth century dawned, there was such an apparatus for philanthropy and evangelical religion as had never been seen before, and therefore we need not wonder at what has followed. During these fifty years the Test and Corporation Acts have been repealed, and Catholic Emancipation has removed from Protestantism one of its most objectionable acts of persecution. Mind henceforth shall be free, and argument and benevolence, instead of the sword, be the only weapons of truth. The slave-trade and slavery are erased from the statute book of the realm, and thus the mother country has set another good example to her American children and the world, which is as sure of being followed as there is a sun in the heavens. The East India monopoly has been abolished, and the trade with India and China thrown open, and now not only our merchants and merchandise, but the word of God, can have free course in those lands. The Reform Bill, also, notwithstanding its defects, gave increased power to our patriots. The penny post, our railways, and the electric telegraph, are the offspring of the period we are reviewing. By these a new impulse has been given to thought and feeling, and the limited and confined soul of man has approached towards omnipotence and omnipresence. Heavy charges on postage were a tax on thought, and repressed the flow of natural affection. But now every mail bag is a mine of intellectual wealth and Christian philanthropy, in which not only tradesmen, bankers, and merchants hold intercourse, but also parents, children, friends, lovers, and pious kindred souls reciprocate their emotions, and take "sweet counsel together." The railway gives wings to these sympathetic messengers, and what was once a fiction is now a fact, for we can really outstrip the wind. That epistle of tenderness which the poor kitchen girl writes in tears and by stealth, will be read and bedewed with sacred drops from a mother's eyes before twelve hours have rolled away, although not less than two hundred miles separate the fond parent from her dutiful offspring. Steam has made London nearer to Stroud, than Stroud used to be to Gloucester, although the distance of the latter is ten, and that of the former one hundred miles.

VOL. I.

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