« PreviousContinue »
REV. CALEB EVANS, M. A.
MASTER OF THE SEMINARY AT BRISTOL.
THERE IS A SPIRIT IN MAN, AND THE INSPIRATION OF THE AL
Having read and considered the circular letter drawn up by you, read and approved by the Association met at Horsley, in Gloucestershire, July 3d and 4th, 1789; and finding myself, and some doctrines which I believe to be true, levelled at; I have presumed to make a few remarks on the performance; and humbly inscribe them to your Name, and submit them to your perusal. You inform us
" There are two extremes in religion, which * are too often fallen into by Christian professors, against which we think it our duty to guard 'you. The one is fiery, ungovernable, ill-natured * zeal and bigotry; and the other, cold indif'ference. Tempers of mind which are both of • them highly dishonourable to God and religion, and very injurious to our own souls.'
Pray, Sir, did you ever see or hear of any man that ever fell into more fiery, ungovernable, ill
natured zeal, bigotry, and I add, wrath and indignation, too, against any mortal living, than Mr. Evans fell into and discovered against William Huntington, when he preached at Bristol? And, pray, what provoked him? Nothing in the doctrine that he could overthrow; nor in the life of the preacher, that he could condemn. It must . have been the crowded audience, and the power
of God, that kindled his indignation: and, if so, his hatred had no other cause than that which the world may plead against the sovereign grace of God. Example, Sir, goes before precept. When thou teachest another, teachest thou not thyself also? He who binds a burden on other men's shoulders should touch it first with his own finger. The man who gets into Moses's chair, and bids others observe his precepts, while they are obliged to shun his works, exposes himself to the old taunting proverb, Physician, heal thyself.
· Let those who are in danger of the first of these evils remember the words of our divine Master to his disciples, when they were for calling for fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans; Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of! You think, perhaps, as though our Lord had said, that you are actuated only by zeal for me and my honour, but you are really influenced by a spirit of pride and self-importance. And is not . this too often the case with fiery zealots now? • Come, see my zeal! says Jehu; but self was at the bottom, and his zeal was more for his own