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ance upon the ministry of the word. The tunes were mostly simple melodies, composed by the old mas. ters, and selected by Mr. Wesley, who published vari. ous books of sacred music ; and they were sung, if not always according to the rules of art, yet with the spirit and the understanding. The men and women sat apart in the congregation: a practice which Mr. Wesley derived from the Moravians, but which, even in his time, was found to be inconvenient. It was ultimately abandoned. In these assemblies, which were often annoyed by mischievous and riotous people, multitudes of ungodly persons were awakened, converted, regenerated, sanctified, and built up in faith and love.
THE PUBLICATION OF BOOKS. One of the most important and successful means adopted by the two Wesleys for promoting the interests of religion, was the publication, in a cheap and popular form, of a large number of interesting and instructive books. Before he went to Georgia, Mr. John Wesley, as we have seen, published a single sermon, besides a revised edition of Kempis's “Christian Pattern ;” but it was not till after he had returned to England, and obtained the salvation of the gospel, through faith in the Lord Jesus, that he was really aware of the power of the press, and began to use it to the full extent of his abil. ity. He then entered upon a course of literary labour of the most gigantic kind, in connection with his in. cessant travelling, preaching, epistolary correspond. ence, and the pastoral care of his spiritual children in all parts of the kingdom. At an early period of his public labours, he sent forth three volumes of sermons, explaining, with unrivalled simplicity and strength, the leading doctrines
which he had been accustomed to preach; and his “ Appeals to Men of Reason and Reli. gion,” defending the irregular proceedings into which he had been led, and demonstrating their necessity. Upon the back of this most powerful and impressive volume, Dr. Doddridge wrote the significant exclamation, “ How forcible are right words !” These works were attended by an almost incredible number of tracts and pamphlets, original and selected; some of them intended for gratu.
itous distribution, and all admirably fitted to turn men from sin, and to build them up in holiness.
He published a considerable number of controversial works, in answer to the objections which Dr. Church and others urged against his proceedings and theological views, and in defence of his ministry and character against the reasonings and bitter sarcasms of Bishops Lavington* and Warburton ; but it was in practical divinity that he took the greatest delight. That the writings of our elder divines, Puritan and Conformist, might be rendered available to general edification, he published selections from them in fifty volumes, under the title of " A Christian Library," presenting a beau. tiful and agreeable variety of style and manner, and of biographical, didactic, and practical compositions. After a lapse of several years, this invaluable compilation was succeeded by a monthly magazine; consisting of articles partly original and partly selected ; and contain. ing at once “ milk” for such as were “babes” in under. standing and knowledge, and “strong meat” for those that were of riper intellectual age.
To him it was a matter of solid gratification that his ministry, and that of his “ fellow-helpers to the truth,” roused many a dormant mind to reflection and inquiry; and as it was his anxious wish to raise up an intelligent as well as a holy people, he published con. cise grammars of the English, French, Latin, and Greek languages; with an Epitome of the Roman His. tory. To these he added an abridged History of Eng. land, and another of the Christian Church, in four volumes each; besides a Compendium of Natural Philosophy, in five volumes, that peasants, and persons of
* Since Bishop Lavington published his libellous book on Me. thodism, several works of a somewhat similar character have appeared. The most notorious of these are Nott's Bampton Lec-' tures; Nightingale's Portraiture of Methodism ; Dr. Bennett's History of the Dissenters ; Philip's Life of Mr. Whitefield ; the Recent Life of Alexander Kilham; and Conder's Analytical View of all Religions. We enter our protest against all these works, so far as Wesleyan Methodism is concerned. They contain di. rect and palpable misrepresentations respecting Mr. Wesley and his people ; and some of them are highly calumnious. On the other subjects treated of in these volumes we say nothing,
neglected education might have the means of acquiring useful knowledge at the smallest possible expense of time and money. In providing cheap literature, he anticipated the movements of more modern times by many years; and in this kind of service, he laboured almost alone for nearly half a century. Moral and sacred poetry he strongly recommended, and published selections of this kind in three volumes ; and portable editions of Milton and Young, with notes explaining the difficult passages, and directing attention to the finest paragraphs.
Desirous of promoting, in all his societies, the study of the holy Scriptures, as the source and standard of divine truth, he published, in a quarto volume, an amended translation of the New Testament, with Ex. planatory Notes, remarkable for their spirituality, terseness, and point. A similar work, but less original in its character, he published on the Old Testa. ment, in three quarto volumes. We hazard nothing in saying that no man ever lived who placed a larger mass of evangelical and useful literature within the reach of the common people. The works which he published were not merely harmless, but beneficial; calculated and intended to make men wişe and holy.
Mr. Charles Wesley was an elegant scholar, and possessed a fine classical taste; but as a literary man, he engaged in a kind of service very different from that which occupied the more versatile genius of his brother. Prose composition he almost entirely neglected ; except that he wrote two sermons for the press,—one on “ Awake thou that sleepest," and the other on Earthquakes and for many years kept a daily record of passing occurrences.
Above almost all men that ever lived, he was the child of feeling; and from the time of his conversion till his fires were quenched in death, he thought and breathed in sacred
His was not “made poetry,” but “poetry that made itself.” It flowed from the depth of his heart in a perennial stream, as clear as it was full and strong. He supplied the Methodists with hymns suited to every occasion, and on all possible subjects connected with their spiritual concerns, and that with an energy, a
purity, and a copiousness of diction, and with a richness of evangelical sentiment, of which the Christian church had perhaps never before seen an equal exam. ple. There is scarcely a feeling of the heart in the entire process of salvation, from the first dawn of light upon the understanding, and the incipient sorrows of penitence, to the joye of pardon, the entire sanctification of the soul, and its triumphant entrance into paradise, which he has not expressed in genuine poetry. All that he and his brother taught from the pulpit, of the evil of sin, the glory of Christ, the efficacy of the atonement, the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, “ the good fight of faith," the peace and joy of believ. ing, and the ecstatic anticipations of hope, he enabled the people to sing in strains worthy of the brightest days of the primitive church, when she had received 'the pentecostal baptism of fire. Never were people so favoured with respect to the substance of their psalmody as the Wesleyan connection has always been.
To some persons it may perhaps appear incredible, but it is, nevertheless, a fact, that, independently of his own original works, which occupy fourteen large oc. tavo volumes, Mr. John Wesley abridged, revised, and printed no fewer than one hundred and seventeen distinct publications, reckoning his Christian Library, his histories, and his philosophy, as only one each ; and that the brothers, separately and unitedly, published forty-seven poetical tracts and volumes, most of which were the compositions of Mr. Charles Wesley, and adapted to the use of public, domestic, and private de. votion ; besides a large number of psalms, which were inserted in the “ Arminian Magazine.” Apparently without design, Mr. Charles Wesley has anticipated every want of the connection, so far as devotional poetry is concerned. Notwithstanding the difference between his times and the present, there is not a reli. gious service, whether relating to missions, the Christian sacraments, or the ordination of ministers, for which he has not most appropriately provided.
Mr. Charles Wesley was critically acquainted with the holy Scriptures, and had a profound knowledge of
theology, as must appear to every attentive reader of his poetry. To a great extent, it forms a beautiful commentary on the Bible.
THE ADOPTION OF A SIMPLE AND IMPRESSIVE
MODE OF PREACHING. When Messrs. John and Charles Wesley, having found what they had long sought—the peace and holiness which are consequent upon the true Christian faith-began to exert themselves to effect a revival of religion in the nation, they adopted a mode of preaching adapted to this end. They laid aside the practice of reading their sermons, and addressed the people from the fulness of their hearts; yet without the slightest approach to rhapsody. The subjects of their ministry were, at first, comparatively few, but im. mensely important. True religion they strenuously maintained does not consist in right opinions, nor in correct morals, nor in harmlessness of conduct, nor in attendance upon Christian ordinances, necessary as these things are in their several places; but is the life of God in the soul of man; a conformity to the divine image ; the love of God and of all mankind for his sake, constantly expressing itself in acts of piety, benevolence, and righteousness. They contended, that of this all mankind are naturally destitute ; and that they can attain it in no other way than by believing in Christ. Love to God, which they described as the root and principle of all holiness, they declared to be a grateful affection, arising, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, from an assurance of God's love to us; so that justification, and the inward witness of our adoption, precede sanctification, though they are inse. parably connected with it. This happiness and purity they declared to be attainable by all men, and attainable now; and hence they offered to the most unworthy of mankind, as the free gift of God, a present salvation from the guilt, the power, and the misery of sin. All believers they exhorted to go on unto perfection ; assuring them, upon the testimony of holy Scripture, that they might be saved in this life from all inward, as well as outward sin ; and love God with all their