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believe, to have been literally the case ; for at those more private assemblies, every thing transacted at the meeting-house, whatever has been done or faid by the preacher, is there copioufly detailed by the leaders of the classes, in such terms as cannot fail of making the wished for impresion upon the minds of their hearers.

That “the person who presides in the class meetings, and who is termed the leader, is frequently a preacher," we confidently deny. For in the district to which the report relates, which contains almost two hundred parishes, there are not more than five or fix preachers in the connection, and one supernumerary stationed; it is utterly impoffible, therefore, that, out of this small number, a preacher Thould be found to preside in the various class meetings which are held weekly in this district, and that generally on the Lord's day. In cities, however, and large populous and commercial towns, we are ready to allow that the case may be as Mr. B. has represented.

According to the rules of the society, a leader ought to be a person of clear experience and found judgment, truly devoted to God, Lealous for the falvation of fouls, of upright conversation, and one who has Gifrs proper for the work. It is his business, moreover, to see each person in his class once a week at least, and to inquire how their fouls prosper; how they keep the rules of the society; how they grow in the knowledge and love of God; and be'is to advise, Feprove, comfort or exhort, as occafion may require.

From this account it will appear, that the leader of a class has indeed an arduous office upon his hands, and that very few persons in the country will be found who are duly qualified for such an undertaking; for no small pare of judgment and discretion is requisite on the part of him who is to make the foregoing inquiries, left, peradventure, overrating his Gifts, he thould overftep the line of his duty, and be tempted to a gross abuse and perverfion of his office Many inttances of this nature, we scruple not to affirm, have been known to exist, and do 26 this present time exist, in the Lincolnshire district. Several of the leaders of classes are there known to us, whom we could cnumerate by name, who can hardly be laid to have been trained up in the firit rudiments of knowledge, and who, of course, are wholly unqualified for the office of teachers or exhorters. Of these some are butchers and shoemakers, and others fhepkerds, day labourers, and inenial servants. Will then Mr. B., whom we consider as the Goliath and doughty ehampion of his fect, have the temerity to decide absolutely upon the character of these men ? Will he venture pofitively to affert, that persons of low and obscure stations, who have been nominated to the


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office of leaders, are, without exception, men of clear experiente and sound judgment, and endowed with Gifts proper for the work? Wé, alas! can affure him, that the case is far otherwise ; we know that many of these ignorant and fanatic leaders are the inveterate enemies of the establishment, and are altogether indefatigable in their endeavours to draw aside the honest cottager and the industrious labourer from his duty, and to prevent the attendance on the public worship of the church, telling them that churches are but uselefs buildings, being nothing but a heap of stones ; that the pure doctrine of the Gofpel is seldom, if ever, preached therein; and that out of their own society salvation is not to be had. These men, likewise, presuming upon their office, imagine themselves to be transformed into preachers, and accordingly perform more than is required of them by the rules of the society; for, in addition to finging, praying, and relating their own EXPERIENCES, and hearing those of others; they arrogate to themselves the right of expounding the scriptures; and thus, by handling the word of God, ignorantly and deceitfully, they seduce the unwary, and

propagate errors of a dangerous and destructive tendency.

These class meetings, therefore, we cannot but view with a fufpicious and fearful eye ; they are the very hot-beds of fuperftition and enthusiasm, from whence an almoft inconceivable number of ignorant and deluded persons are yearly transplanted out of the established Church into the conventicle or meetinghouse: and the country leaders, of whom we are now speaking, may be considered in many respects, to resemble those who, in the words of the Apostle, were wont to creep into houses--to infinuate themselves into private families, and lead filly women captive-those of weak and unstable minds, who were ready to run after and to hear every new teacher ; and who, tossed about

; by every wind of doctrine, are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, or to attain any fixed or steady principles with regard to religion. In like manner do these men, by the recital of trifing and unmeaning anecdotes, by an exaggerated relation of the experiences of themselves and others, and suppofed miraculous interpositions, and by false pretensions to miracles, of various and extraordinary kinds, at length win over to their own extravagant tenets a manifold variety of deluded converts, who, after their own lufis, have heaped to themselves teachers, having itching ears.

To these ignorant leaders of classes may be justly applied the epithet of “blind guides ;they are, indeed, blind leaders of the blind; and we fully agree with Mr. B. that if the blind thus lead the blind, they both muft, inevitably fall into the ditch : and to these unauthorised and uncommissioned teachers, we would strongly


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recommend, in future, an attentive consideration of the following texts :--" Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he is called :” the meaning of which is, let every one remain in that state, profession, or circumstance of life, in which he was educated and brought up, and in which various opportunities occur for him to evince the fincerity of his faith, by shewing that " in whatever state he is, he hath learned therewith to be content;" and "living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,” let him allo fudy therein to be quiet, and to do his own business, working with his hands the thing which is good. Phil. iv, 11. Tit. ii. 12. I Theff. iv. ii. Ephef. iv. 28.

There is another circumstance, of which we think it our duty at this juncture to remind Mr. B. as it is possible he may, THROUGH INADVERTENCE, have overlooked it in his present Vindication ; that is, in his recapitulation of the duties attached to class leaders, he hath evidently for born to mention what we muft ever deem a most essential one, inasmuch as the prosperous or: declining state of the funds of the whole society principally depends upon the due performance of it. In the General Rules, published in 1798, the leaders of classes are directed

to receive what each person is willing to give for the support of the Gospel; to pay the stewards what they have received of their feveral classes; and to Mew their account of what each person bath contributed.On the individual exertions of these leaders much, therefore, depends; and great care, no doubt, is taken, in the selection of this description of officers, that they are duly qualified, and have Gifts proper for the work. What is to be understood by the word Gifts, we are really at a loss to comprehend ; but we conceive that the GIFT of enticing words wherewith they may beguile their heaters, and by which the cunning craftiness of men who lie in wait to deceive, is wont frequently to impose upon others, will here be found to be of no little service : and from this consideration we are enabled, in some measure, to account for the unrelenting violence with which they calumniate the Clergy, and revile the Establishment.

As the Author of the Vindication has undertaken to justify the conduct of these men, from a particular paffage in the third Epistle of St. John, we would observe thereon, that the words of the Apostle afford no fanction, no pretext whatever, for the inquisitorial usurpation of these men over the minds and consciences of the members of their respective claffes. This Epistle is by no means to be considered as a catholic one ; it is addressed to a private individual, who was the esteemed friend of the Apostle ; and the language adopted in the second verse is merely expreffive of the benevolent wishes of the writer to


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his beloved Gaiùs, that in bodily health, and in all his worldly concerus, he might, under the divine blessing, be made to succeed and prosper, even as his soul had been made to prosper, by the knowledge of the Gospel, and the influence which its enJivening truths had already had upon his life and conversation. The verb Eundokan, we consider in this passage, as having a sig, nification fimilar to that of the Hebrew verb in the conjugation Hiphil.

We have been thus copious in disculling the subject of the class meetings, because here Mr. B. seems to rest the chief part of his defence, and priding himself on the supposed ignorance of the reporters, as to the manner in which those meetings have been conducted in the country, he considers himself as flanding upon vantage ground, and from thence, with a fl

percilious confidence, he bids defiance to his adversaries. But es' enough, we trust, has now been said to convince our readers,

that great, very great, abuses do indecd prevail in this department of methodilm, which loudly call for fome legislative remedy.

(To be concluded in our next.)


A Journey from London to the Isle of Wight. By Thomas Pennant, Esq. 2. Vols. 4to. PP. 424. 31. 35. West

Pp and Hughes. 1801. "HE merits of the late Mr. Pennant" (lys the editor of these

as an author, are too well known to require encominm : his talents as a naturalist stand unrivalled; and, as a tourist, he was the first who enlivened the drynels of topographical research with historical and biographical aneedote, and illustrated . defcription with the decorations of the pencil. Several tours, thus recommended, were published during his life-time, and have gone through numerous editions; others, which he never printed, are enumerated, in his literary life ; amongst these stands coulpicuous the tour from London to Dover, and from Dover to the Lands End.

“ In regard to the tour from London to Dover, which forms part of his great work on the outlines of the globe, be thus expresies himtelt: Vol. II. deferibes a tour commencing at the Temple. Stairs, comprehending my paffage down the Tbames, as low as Dartford Creek, and from thence to Dover."

The tour from Dover, which forms another part of his outlines of the globe, he thus describes in page 31 : ever since the year 2777, I had quite.lost my spirit of rambling. Another happy nuptial connection suppressed every desire to leave muy fire-lide ; 'but, in the spring of this year, I was induced once more to renew my journies. My four had returned from his last lour to the Coulincnt, so much to my fatisfaction, that I was determined to give

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him every advantage that might qualify him for a second, which he was on the point of taking over the kingdoms of France and Spain. I wished him to make a comparison of the naval strength and commercial advantages and disadvantages of our illand, with those of lier two powerful rivals : I attended him down the Thames, visited all our docks, and, by land, (from Dartford) followed the whole coast to the very Land's End. On his return from his second tour I had great reason to boast that this excurfion was not thrown away : as to myself, it was a painful one; long absence from my family was fo new to me, that, I may fincerely say, it caft an anxiety over the whole journey,

“ The intereft which every reader must feel in the description and delineation of these portions of our ille, will be greatly enhanced by the confideration that this is among the poithumous ro mains of that correct observer, and experienced inveftigator, whose glance penetrated through all the receiles of nature-whole tafte in embellishment and accuracy in description, fubjected to the eye, and indelibly impreised on the mind of his reader, those images which were so happily conceived, and fo interestingly blended in his own. This work is among the last treafures drawn from that mine of learning and fcience which the hand of providence has closed for ever--that mine by which our national trean fures have been copioufly augmented, and from which some of the molt estimable ornaments of British literature have been derived.

Considering thefe tours are part of a grand unfinished project, they present a model to that kindred genius who thall venture to perfect what PENNANT left incomplete. Confidered as a fragment of an illuftrious author, they will not want value in the eyes of his countrymen, as they display that grand portion of the British territory where force, wealth, and that commerce from which both are derived, have fixed their cliief, and, it is hoped inmoveable residence.

“These tours, now presented to the publie, were kindly communicated by David Pennant, Esq. the son of the author. The editor has spared neither paios nor expence to render this work in all respects equal to Mr. Pennant's former publications : it is embellithed with forty-nine Plates, confitting of views of the most important places mentioned in the tour, and portraits of illustrious persons.

" It is necessary to apprize the reader, that the manuscript has been scrupulously adhered to, and that two or three breaks, left by Mr. Pennant, are not filled up. This conscientious adherence to liter rary veracity will require no apology, the editor despaired of einbellishing, and would not risk distiguring the work of lo excellent a band.”

This fcrupulous adherence to the manuscript is carried to a length that is truly ridiculous, as our readers will admit when they are told that the breaks which are left might eafily be filled up by a child; for instance, in the account of Green



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