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denies, that he considers these fits as signs of the new birth.” I always deny it, if you mean by signs any thing more than something which may accidentally attend it. Yet " in some of his writings, he calls these fallings and roarings, by the name of convictions. He says, “Many were wounded deeply: but none were delivered from that painful conviction.' Monday 50, Two more were in strong pain, both their souls and bodies being well nigh torn asunder.'” Very true : but in which of these passages do I call fallings and roarings by the name of convictions? Excuse me: if I cannot distinguish God from the devil, I can, at least, distinguish the soul from the body. For do I ever confound bodily disorders with sorrow or pain of mind?
10. However “ Mr. W. speaks of these at least as outward signs, that the new birth is working in those that have them.'” (p. 23.) I speak of them as outward sympa toms which have often accompanied the inward work of God.' A peculiar instance of this I relate in the first Journal, which you are at the pains to transcribe, And, as you observe, “ there are many instances in the same Journal, in which I express myself in the same manner." But what does all this prove? Just what I said before, and not one jot more: I speak of them as Soutward symptoms which have often accompanied the inward work of God.' Often, I say, not always, not necessarily; they may, or they may not. This work may be without those symptoms, and those symptoms may be without this work.
11. But you say, “The following account which he writes to one of his correspondents, will make the matter clear, I have seen very many persons changed in a mopent, from the spirit of fear, horror, despair, to the spirit of love, joy, peace; and from sinful desires, till then reigning over them, to a pure desire of doing the Will of God. That such a change was then wrought, appears not from their shedding tears only, or falling into fits, or crying out (these are not the fruits or signs whereby I judge,) but from the whole tenor of their lives.'” (p. 33.)
Now I should really imagine this passage proves just the contrary of what you intend.' Yea, that it is full and decisive, “ But,” say you, “ though he denies these to be the fruits by which he judges, that this inward change is wrought, yet he looks upon them as signs that it is working.'” Yes, in the sense above explained. While
" God was inwardly working, these outward signs often appeared : nay, almost daily in Bristol, during the first summer which I spent there.
12. Upon the whole, I declare once for all, (and I hope to be troubled no more upon the subject,) I look upon some of those bodily symptoms, to have been preternatural or diabolical: and others to have been effects which in some circumstances naturally followed from strong and sudden emotions of mind. Those emotions of mind, whether of fear, sorrow, or joy, I believe were chiefly supernatural; springing from the gracious influences of the Spirit of God, which accompanied his word.
13. I believe this is all the answer I need give to the severe accusation you have brought against me: for which I trust men of candour will discern there was not the least foundation, With respect to the first point, despising learning, I am utterly clear. None can bring any proof, or shadow of proof, that I do not highly esteem it. With regard to the assurance of faith and hope, I have spoken as clearly as I can; and I trust serious men, who have some experience in religion, will not find much to condemn therein. And with respect to inward feelings, whoever de nies them in the sense wherein alone I defend them, must deny all the life and power of religion, and leave nothing but a dead, empty form. For take away the love of God and our neighbour, the peace of God and joy in the Holy Ghost, or (which comes to the same) deny that they are felt, and what remains but a poor, lifeless shadow ?
14. This is what I do, and must contend for. “I thought you had contended for quite another thing." If you had only thought so, or only said so in private conversation, it had been of no great consequence. But it was of consequence, when you not only brought a false accusation against your brother before so venerable an assembly, but also published it to all the world. Surely the first step was enough and more than enough. Was there nothing more important wherewith to entertain the stewards of the mysteries of God, than the mistakes, if they really had been such of the Methodists, so called ?
Had they no enemies more dangerous than these? Were they not in more imminent danger, if of no outward sin, nothing in their behaviour or conversation unworthy of their calling; yet of neglect, of remissness, of not laying out all their time, and care, and pains, in feeding the sheep which Christ hath purchased with his own blood ? Were none of them, in danger of levity, of pride, of passion, of discontent, of covetousness ? Were none of them seeking the praise of men more than the praise of God? o Sir, if this was the case of any of them, I will not say how trifling, how insignificant, but how mischievous to these, how fatal, how destructive must a charge of this kind be! By which they were led, not to examine themselves, to consider either their own hearts or ways, but to criticise on others, on those with whom nine in ten had no manner of concern? Surely so solemn an opportunity might be improved to far other purposes! Even to animate every one present, to offer up himself a living sacrifice to God, that so he may be ready to be offered up, on the sacrifice and service of his faith; to have one thing only in his eye, to desire, to aim at nothing else, not honour, not ease, not money, not prefer. ment; but to save his own soul and them that hear him.
I am, Reverend Sir,
REV. MR. BAILY,
IN ANSWER TO A LETTER TO THE REV. JOHN WESLEY.
LIMERICK, JUNE 8, 1750. RBY. SIR, • 1. WHY do you not subscribe your name to a performance so perfectly agreeing both as to the matter and form, with the sermons you have been occasionally preaching, for more than a year last past? As to your seeming to disclaim it, by saying once and again, “I am but a plain, simple man;" and, “ the doctrine you ,
' teach is only a revival of the old antinominian heresy, I think they call 'it;" I presume it is only a pious fraud, But how came so plain and simple a man, to know the meaning of the Greek word Philalethes. Sir, this is not of a piece. If you did not care to own your child, had not you better have subscribed the second (as well as the first) letter * George Fisher?
* The letter thus subscribed was published at Cork, on May 30 last,
2. I confess you have timed your performance well. When the other pointless thing was published, I came unluckily to Cork on the self-same day. But you might now suppose I was at a convenient distance. However, I will not plead this as an excuse, for taking no notice of your last favour : although, to say the truth, I scarce know how to answer it, as you write in a language I ain not accustomed to. Both Dr. Tucker, Dr. Church, and all the other gentlemen, who have written to me in public for some years, have written as gentlemen, having some regard to their own, whatever my character was. But as you fight in the dark, you regard not what weapons you use. not, therefore, on even terms. I cannot answer you in
. kind. I am constrained to leave this to your good allies of Blackpool and Fair-lane.
I shall, first, state the facts, on which the present controversy turns, and then consider the most material parts of your performance.
First, I am to state the facts. But here I am under a great disadvantage, having few of my papers by me. Excuse me, therefore, if I do not give so full an account now, as I may possibly do hereafter; if I only give you for the present the extracts of some papers, which were lately put into my hands.
Thomas Jones, of Cork, merchant, deposés,
That on May 3, 1749, Nicholas Butler, ballad-singer, came before the house of this deponent, and assembled a large mob; that this deponent went to Daniel Crone, Esq. then Mayor of Cork, and desired that he would put a stop to those riots; asking, at the same time, whether he gave the said Butler leave to go about in this manner? That Mr. Mayor said, he neither gave him leave, neither did he hinder him: that in the evening Butler gathered a larger mob than before, and went to the house where the people called Methodists were assembled to hear the word of God, and as they came out, threw dirt and hurt several of them.
* Celebrated parts of Cork.