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steadiness, seriousness, Geuvotns, sobriety of spirit, avoiding as fire every word that tendeth not to edifying, and never speaking of any who oppose me, or sin against God, without all my own sins set in array before my face.” In this state he roused himself and exhorted his fellow-travellers with all his might; but the seriousness with which he impressed them soon disappeared when he left them to themselves. A severe storm came on: at first he was afraid, but having found comfort in prayer, lay down at night with composure, and fell asleep “ About midnight,” he says, awaked by a confused noise of seas and wind and men's voices, the like to which I had never heard before. The sound of the sea breaking over and against the sides of the ship, I could compare to nothing but large cannon, or American thunder. The rebounding, starting, quivering motion of the ship much resembled what is said of earthquakes. The captain was upon deck in an instant, but his men could not hear what he said. It blew a proper hurricane, which beginning at south-west, then went west, north-west, north, and in a quarter of an hour round by the east to the south-west point again. At the same time the sea running, as they term it, mountains high, and that from many different points at once, the ship would not obey the helm; nor indeed could the steersman, through the violent rain, see the compass; so he was forced to let her run before the wind; and in half an hour the stress of the storm was over. About noon the next day it ceased.”

While it continued Wesley made a resolution to apply his spiritual labours · not only to the whole crew collectively, but to every separate individual ; and in the performance of this resolution he recovered his former elasticity of spirit, feeling no more of that fearfulness and heaviness which had lately weighed him down. Upon this change he says, “one who thinks the being in Orco, as they phrase it, an indispensable preparative for being a Christian, 'would say I had better have continued in that state; and that this unseasonable relief was a curse not a blessing. Nay, but who art thou, O man, who in favour of a wretched hypothesis, thus blasphemest the good gift of God? Hath not he himself said, “This also is the gift of God, if a man have power to rejoice in his labour? Yea, God setteth his own seal to his weak endeavours, while he thus . answereth him in the joy of his heart.'”

The state of his mind at this time is peculiarly interesting, while it was thus agitated and impelled toward some vague object, as yet he knew not what, by the sense of duty and of power, and while those visitations of doubt were frequent, which darken the soul when they pass over it. “ I went to America,” he says, “ to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me? Who, what is he that will deliver me from this evil heart of unbelief? I have a fair summer religion, I can talk well, nay, and believe myself, while no danger is near: but let death look me in the face and my spirit is troubled ; nor can I say to die is gain. I think verily if the Gospel be true, I am safe : for

I not only have given and do give all my goods to feed the poor ; I not only give my body to be burnt, drowned, or whatever else God shall appoint for me, but I follow after charity (though not as I ought, yet as I can,) if haply I may attain it. I now believe the Gospel is true. I shew my faith by my works, by staking my all upon it. I would do so again and again a thousand times, if the choice were still to make. Whoever sees me, sees I would be a Christian. Therefore, are my ways not like other men's ways: therefore, I have been, I am, I am content to be, a bye-word, a proverb of reproach. But in a storm I think, what if the Gospel be not true ? then thou art of all men most foolish. For what hast thou given thy goods, thy ease, thy friends, thy reputation, thy country, thy life? For what art thou wandering over the face of the earth ? a dream? a cunningly devised fable ? Oh, who will deliver me from this fear of death! What shall I do! Where shall I fly from it! Should I fight against it by thinking, or by not thinking of 'it? A wise man advised me some time since, · Be still, and go on. Perhaps this is best: to look upon it as my cross; when it comes, to let it humble me, and quicken all my good resolutions, especially that • of praying without ceasing; and other times to · take no thought about it, but quietly to go on in the work of the Lord.” It is beautifully said by Sir Thomas Brown, “There is, as in philosophy, so in divinity, sturdy doubts and boisterous objections, wherewith the unhappiness of our knowledge too nearly acquainteth us : more of these no man hath


known than myself, which I confess I conquered, not in a martial posture, but on my knees.” What is remarkable in Wesley's case is that these misgivings of faith should have been felt by him chiefly in times of danger, which is directly contrary to general experience.

And now he reviewed the progress of his own religious life. “ For many years I have been tossed about by various winds of doctrine. [ asked long ago • What must I do to be saved ?' The Scripture answered, Keep the commandments, believe, hope, love.— I was early warned against laying, as the Papists do, too much stress on outward works, or on a faith without works, which as it does not include, so it will never lead to true hope or charity. Nor am I sensible that to this hour I have laid too much stress on either. But I fell among some Lutheran and Calvinist authors, who magnified faith to such an amazing size, that it hid all the rest of the commandments. I did not then see that this was the natural effect of their overgrown fear of popery, being so terrified with the cry of merit and good works, that they plunged at once into the other extreme ; in this labyrinth I was utterly lost, not being able to find out what the error was, nor yet to reconcile this uncouth hypothesis, either with Scripture or common sense. The English writers, such as Bishop Beveridge, Bishop Taylor, and Mr. Nelson, a little relieved me from these well-meaning wrong-headed Germans. Only when they interpreted Scripture in different ways, I was often much at a loss. And there

was one thing much insisted on in Scripture, the unity of the church, which none of them, I thought, clearly explained. But it was not long before Providence brought me to those who shewed me a sure rule of interpreting Scripture, consensus veterum: Quod ab omnibus, quod ubique, quod semper creditum ; at the same time they sufficiently insisted upon a due regard to the one church at all times and in all places. Nor was it long before I bent the bow too far the other way: by making antiquity a co-ordinate rather than sub-ordinate rule with Scripture; by admitting several doubtful writings; by extending antiquity too far; by believing more practices to have been universal in the ancient church than ever were so; by not considering that the decrees of a provincial synod could bind only that province, and the decrees of a general synod only those provinces whose representatives met therein; that most of those decrees were adapted to particular times and occasions, and consequently when those occasions ceased, must cease to bind even those provinces. These considerations in sensibly stole upon me as I grew acquainted with the mystic writers, whose noble descriptions of union with God and internal religion, made every thing else appear mean, flat, and insipid. But in truth they made good works appear so too: yea, and faith itself, and what not? They gave me an entire new view of religion, nothing like


I had before. But alas! it was nothing like that religion which Christ and his apostles loved and taught. I had a plenary dispensation from all the commands of

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