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when he went into the field of battle declared, I am going to rest in the bosom of Jesus.' Indeed this day God was pleased to prove our little flock, and to show them his mighty power. They showed snch courage and boldness in the fight as made the officers, as well as soldiers, amazed. When wounded, some cried out, • I am going to my Beloved.' Others, •Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.' And many that were not wounded earnestly desired to be dissolved, and to be with Christ. When William Clements had his arm broken by a musketball, they would have carried him out of the battle ; but he said, “No; I have an arm left to hold my sword : I will not go yet.' When a second shot broke his other arm, he said, “I am as happy as I can be out of paradise.' John Evans, having both his legs taken off by a cannon-ball, was laid across a cannon to die; where, as long as he could speak, he was praising God with joyful lips.
“For my own part, I stood the hottest fire of the enemy for about seven hours. But I told my comrades,
the French have no ball made that will kill me this day.' After about seven hours, a cannon-ball killed my horse under me.
An officer cried out aloud, Haime, where is your God now ? I answered, “Sir, he is here with me; and he will bring me out of this battle.' Presently, a cannon-ball took off his head. My horse fell upon me, and some cried out, • Haime is gone!' But I replied, · He is not gone yet. I soon disengaged myself, and walked on praising God. I was exposed both to the enemy, and to our own horse; but that did not discourage me at all; for I knew the God of Jacob was with me.
I had a long way to go through all our horse ; the balls flying on every side. And all the way lay multitudes bleeding, groaning, or just dead. Surely I was as in the fiery furnace; but it did not singe a hair of my head. The hotter the battle grew, the more strength was given me. I was as full of joy as I could contain. As I was quitting the field I met one of our brethren with a little dish in his hand, seeking water. I did not know him at first, being covered with blood. He smiled, and said, • Brother Haime, I have got a sore wound.' I asked, •Have you got Christ in your heart ?'
He said, “I have; and I have had him all this day. I have seen many good and glorious days, with much of God, but I never saw more of it, than this day. Glory be to God for all his mercies ! Among the dead there was great plenty of watches, and of gold and silver, One asked, “Will you not get something?' I answered, • No: I have got Christ. I will have no plunder.'
Next to their own country, the sympathies of the brothers were awakened in behalf of Ireland, where Protestantism had fallen into a profound sleep, under the shade of the civil power; and popery, ever watchful and active for the attainment of its own worldly and selfish ends, was rapidly leading the body of the population into superstition and sin. After visiting the prin. cipal counties in England, Mr. John Wesley went to Ireland, in the year 1747, as a preacher of righteousness, where he met at once with formidable opposition, and encouraging success. He was immediately followed by his brother, who preached with equal zeal and power in several of the most important towns, unmoved by the Romish mobs, some of which seemed determined to shed his blood. Some of his escapes were all but mi. raculous. After patient perseverance their object was gained. Preachers were stationed in several of the principal towns; circuits and societies were formed ; a standard was raised against the further encroach. ments of anti-christian error ; many thousands of no. minal Christians became the spiritual worshippers of God; and not a few of the deluded Romanists were not only taught to distinguish between the religion of Christ, and the commandinents of men, but believed in the Lord Jesus to the saving of the soul.
For several years Mr. Charles Wesley occasionally visited Ireland, where his energetic ministry was sig. nally owned of God in the conversion of men. His brother was accustomed to visit it to the end of bis life. Sometimes they were rudely treated by the populace, who were anxious to resist all religious and mo. ral innovations, and perpetuate the existence of popery and crime. Once Mr. Charles Wesley, with several of the preachers, had the honour of being presented by
* Lives of Early Methodist Preachers, vol. i, pp. 168, 169.
the grand jury of Cork as a “rogue and a vagabond." Yet these venerable men found an ample reward in the good which was manifestly done through their instrumentality. An efficient native ministry was raised up ; a distinct, though not an independent, religious connection was formed; so that the Irish Methodists had their own annual conference, became a distinguished part of the Methodist body, and have bad the gratification of presenting to the Wesleyan itinerancy some of its most able and useful ministers. Among these may be mentioned the revered names of Thomas Walsh, William Myles, Walter Griffith, and Adam Clarke ; to say nothing of several who are now alive, and are serv. ing their generation, by the will of God, both at home and in the wide field of missions.
When Mr. Wesley first visited Ireland, the Protest. ant church there, with a few honourable exceptions, was in a sad state of lukewarmness and indifference. Many of the clergy were criminally supine and inactive; and not a few of the evils which the good Bishop Bedell, a hundred years before had in vain sought to remedy, existed in undiminished power, and were in active operation. While Mr. Wesley called the people to repentance, and enforced the necessity of spiritual religion, as opposed to mere opinions and forms of worship, he administered reproof to his clerical brethren in a manner the most delicate and inoffensive, yet with great affection and faithfulness. His manner of doing this was somewhat singular. He published a small tract, entitled, “ A Short Method of Converting all the Roman Catholics in the Kingdom of Ireland, humbly proposed to the bishops and clergy of that kingdom," The “method” indeed appeared very “short" and simple. The detail of the plan occupied only a few pages. But the proposal itself was nothing less than a return, on the part of the great body of the clergy, to the true apostolical spirit, doctrine, and practice.
" It is a melancholy consideration," says he, "to those who love the Protestant interest, that so small a part of this nation is yet reformed from popery. They cannot observe without a sensible concern, that, in many parts of the kingdom, there are still ten, nay fifteen, perhaps upward of twenty, papists to one Protestant. Nor can they see any prospect of its being otherwise ; few papists being brought over to our church, notwithstanding all the methods which have been used, while many Protestants are seduced from it.
Yet they cannot but earnestly desire that all the pa. pists were convinced of their errors. How much would this redound to the glory of God, who willeth all to come to the knowledge of his truth! How greatly would it advantage their own souls, both in this world and in the world to come! What an advantage would it be to the kingdom in general, to be no longer divided against itself, to have the grand cause of contention removed, and all of its inhabitants of one heart and one mind! And how highly would it advance both the honour and interest of our gracious sovereign, to have all his sub. jects cordially united together, thinking and speaking the same thing !
“Why, then, is not this desirable end pursued with a vigour proportionable to its importance ? Is it because we despair of any success, because we think it impossible to be attained ? But why should we ima. gine it to be impossible? A common and plausible answer is, · Because the papists are so bigoted to their clergy; believing all they affirm, however contrary both to Scripture and reason, and doing all that they direct; whom they generally believe to be the holiest and wisest of men.'
Undoubtedly this is a considerable difficulty in the way. And yet I cannot think it is insurmountable. Still I conceive it is possible to convince all the papists, provided there are proper instruments for the work. And what instruments are so proper as the clergy? not only as they are in every place, distributed through the whole nation, and always ready on the spot for the work ; but likewise, as it more immediately belongs to them; as it is no inconsiderable branch of their business who are peculiarly set apart to watch over the souls of men as they must give account.
“ But what way can the clergy take, with any pro. bability of success? There is one way, and one only ;
one that will (not probably, but) infallibly succeed. If this way is taken, I am willing to stake my life upon the success of it. And it is a plain, simple way, such as may be taken by any man, though but of a small capacity. For it requires no peculiar depth of understanding, no extraordinary height of learning; but only a share of common sense, and an honest, upright heart.
“ It was observed, that the grand difficulty of the work lies in the strong attachment of the papists to their clergy. Here, therefore, we are to begin ; we are to strike at the root; and if this bigotry be but removed, whatever error or superstition is built upon it, will fall to the ground.
“ Now this may be effectually done thus :--The pa. pists themselves allow, that one set of clergy were holier and wiser even than their own, namely, the apostles. They allow these both to have lived and preached bet. ter than the present clergy even of the Roman Church,
“ Here, therefore, is the short and sure method. Let all the clergy of the Church of Ireland only live like the apostles, and preach like the apostles, and the thing is done.
“ The Romans, on the same ground that they prefer the apostles before their own clergy, will then prefer ours before them; and when they once do this, when we have carried this point, when their attachment to our clergy is stronger than that to their own, they will be convinced by hundreds, till there is not a Roman left in the kingdom of Ireland.” *
The writer then goes on to describe the manner in which the apostles lived and preached-their life of faith, and of active, burning love ; their self-denial, and holy circumspection ; their temperance, zeal, and char. ity; their boldness and fidelity in the cause of Christ ; their strenuous inculcation of those capital truths, that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law; the necessity of the new birth ; and holiness of life, flowing from a new nature, the effect of the Holy Spirit's operation. The advice thus given about the middle of the last century, has been more recently adopted by the Irish clergy, to a considerable extent, and with the
* Works, vol. v, pp. 795, 796, Am. edit.