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RECTOR OF ST. MICHAEL, TOOD-STREET:

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ŘEV. SIR,

1.'IN tlie tract which you have just published concerning the people called Methodists, you very properly say, “Our first care should be, candidly and fairly to examine their doctrines. For, as to censure them unexamined would be unjust, so to do the same without a fáir and impartial exa

a mination would be ungenerous.” And again, “ We should, in the first place, carefully and candidly examine their doctrines,” (page 68.) This is undoubtedly true. But have you done it? Have you ever examined their doctrines yet? Have you examined them fairly ? Fairly and candidly? Candidly and carefully? Have you read over so much as the Sermons they have published ? Or the Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion ? I hope you have not: for I would fain make some little excuse for your uttering so many senseless, shameless falsehoods. I hope you know nothing about the Methodists, no more than I do about the Cham of Tartary: that you are ignorant of the whole

affair, and are so bold, only because you are blind. Bold enough! Throughout your whole tract, you speak satis pro imperio::aš authoritatively as if you were not an archbishop only, but apostolic vicar also: as if you had the full papal power in your hands, and fire and faggot at your beck! And blind enough : 'so that you blunder on, through thick and thin, bespattering all that come in your way: according to the old, laudable maxim, “Throw dirt enough, and some will stick."

2. I hope, I say, that this is the case, and that you do not knowingly assert so many palpable falsehoods. You say, “ If I am mistaken, I shall always be ready and desirous to retract my error,” (p. 56.) 'A little candour and care might have prevented those mistakes: this is the first thing one would have desired. The next is, that they may be removed; that you may see wherein you have been

' mistaken, and be more wary for the time to come.

3. You undertake to give an account, first; Of the rise and principles, then of the practices of the Methodists.

On the former head you say, 'Our church has long been infested with these grievous wolves, who though no more than two when they entered-in, and they so young, they might rather be called wollings,” (that is lively and pretty!). " have yet spread their ravenous' kind through every part of this kingdom. Where what havock they have made, how many of the sheep they have torn--I need 'not? say. About twenty-five years ago, these two bold, though beardless divines,” (pity, Sir, that you had not taught me twenty-five years ago sapientem pascerebarbam, and thereby to avoid'some part of your displeasure) “ being lifted with spiritual pride, were presumptuous enough to become founders of the sect called Methodists,” (p. 4, 5, 6.) “A couple of young, raw, aspiring twigs of the ministry, dreamed of a special and supernatural call to this,” (p. 25.) No, Sir, it was you dreamed of this, not we. We dreamed of nothing twenty-five years ago, but instructing our pupils in religion and learning, and a few prisoners, in the common principles of Christianity. You go on. “They were

ambitious of being accounted missionaries, immediately delegated by heaven to correct the errors of bishops and arch.. bishops, and reform their abuses, to instruct the clergy in the true nature of Christianity, and to caution the laity, not to venture their souls in any such unhallowed hands, as refused to be initiated in all the mysteries of Methodism," (p. 20, 21.) Well asserted indeed! But where is the proof of any one of these propositions ? I must insist upon this; clear, cogent proof. Else they must be set down for so many glaring falsehoods.

4.“ The church of Rome (to which on so many accounts they were much obliged, and as gratefully returned the obligation) taught them to set up for infallible interpreters of Scripture,” (p. 54.) Pray on what accounts are we “ obliged to the Church of Rome ?” And how have we “ returned the obligation ?" I beg you would please, 1. To explain this : and, 2. To prove, that we ever yet (whoever taught us)“ set up for infallible interpreters of Scripture.” So far from it, that we have over and over declared, in print as well as in public preaching, “ We are no more to expect any living man to be infallible than to be omni. scient,” (Vol. VIII. p. 217.)

5. “ As to other extraordinary gifts, influences, and operations of the Holy Ghost, no man who has but once dipped into their Journals and other ostentatious trash of the same kind, can doubt their looking upon themselves, as not coming one whit behind the greatest of the apostles," (page 21.) I acquit you, Sir, of ever baving once dipped into

on that ostentatious trash." I do not accuse you of having read so much as the titles of my Journals. 1 say my journals; for (as little as you seem to know it) my brother has published none. I therefore look upon this as simple ignorance. You talk thus, because you know no better. You do not know, that in these very journals I utterly disclaim “ the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit," and all other “ influences and operations of the Holy Ghost,” than those that are common to all real Christians.

concerns.

And yet I will not say, this ignorance is blameless. For ought you not to have known better? Ought you not to have taken the pains of procuring better information, when it might so easily have been had? Ought you to have publickly advanced such heavy charges as these, without knowing whether they were true or not?

6. You proceed to give as punctual an account of us, tanquam intus et in cute nosses. “ They outstripped, if possible, even Montanus for external sanctity and severity of discipline. They condemned allregard for temporal

They encouraged their devotees to take no thought for any one thing upon earth: the consequence of which was, a total neglect of their affairs, and impoverishment of their families,” (p. 22, 23.) Blunder all over! We had no room for any discipline, severe or not, five and twenty years ago : unless college discipline, my brother then residing at Christ Church, and I at Lincoln-College. And as to our sanctity (were it more or less) how do you know it was only external? Were you intimately acquainted with us? I do not remember where I had the honour of conversing with you. Or could you (as the legend says of St. Pacbomius) smell an heretic ten miles' off? And how came you to dream again, that we“ condemned all regard for temporal concerns, and encouraged men to take no thought for anyone thing upon earth?” Vain dream! We, on the contrary, severely condemn all who neglect their temporal concerns, and who do not take care of every thing on earth wherewith God hath intrusted them. The consequence of this is, that the Methodists, so called, do not neglect their affairs and impoverish their families ;" but by diligence in business provide things honest in the sight of all men.' Insomuch that multitudes of them, who in time past, had scarce food to eat, or raiment to put on, have now all things needful for life and godliness,' and that for their families as well as themselves."

7. Hitherto you have been giving an account of two wolflings only: but now they are grown into perfect wolves. Let us see what a picture you draw of them in this state, both as to their principles and practice.

a

You begin with a home stroke.

In the Montanist you may behold the bold lineaments and bloated countenance of the Methodist,” (p. 17.) I wish you do not squint at the honest countenance of Mr. Venn, who is, indeed, as far from fear, as he is from guile. But if it is somewhat bloated, that is not his fault: sickness may have the same effect on

yours or mine.

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But to come closer to the point. “They have darkened religion with many ridiculous fancies, tending to confound the head, and to corrupt the beart,” (p. 13.) “ A thorough knowledge of them would work in every rightly-disposed mind an abhorrence of those doctrines, which directly tend to distract the head, and to debauch the heart, by turning faith into frenzy, and the grace of God into wantonness," (page 101, 102.) “ These doctrines are unreasonable and ridiculous, clashing with our natural ideas of the divine perfections, with the end of religion, with the honour of God, and man's both present and future happiness. Therefore we pronounce them filthy dreamers, turning faith into fancy, the gospel into farce, thus adding blasphemy to enthusiasm,” (p. 66, 68.) + Také breath, Sir, there is a long paragraph behind.

The abetters of these wild and whimsical notions, are 1. Close friends to the Church of Rome, agreeing with her in almost every thing, but the doctrine of merit: 2. They are no less kind to infidelity, by making the christian religion a mere creature of the imagination : 3. They cut up Christianity by the roots, frustrating the very end for which Christ died, which was, that by holiness we might be made meet for the inheritance of the saints:' 4. They are enemies not only to Christianity, but to every religion whatsoever, by labouring to subvert or overturn the whole system of morality : 5. Consequently they must be enemies of society, dissolving the band by which it is united and knit together,” (p: '101, 102.) In a word, “ All ancient heresies have, in a manner, concentred in the Methodists : particularly those of the Simonians, Gnostics, Antinomians, (as widely different from each other as Predestinarians from Calvinists!) Valentinians, Donatists, and Montanists."

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