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NOTE XXXVIII. Page 359.
Uron this subject I transcribe a passage from Mr. Latrobe's late travels in South Africa, in justice to this calumniated community.
“ Concessions are the best defence, where we are, or have formerly been, to blame, in expressions, or proceedings, founded on mistaken notions. Such concessions have been repeatedly made, but in general to little purpose; and we must be satisfied to hear the old, wretched, and contradictory accusations, repeated in “ Accounts of all Religions,” “ Encyclopedias,” “ Notes on Charch History," and other compilations. Be it so, since it cannot be otherwise expected; let us live them down, since we have not been able to write them down. To some, however, who wilfully continue to deal in that species of slander against the Brethren, or other religious communities, the answer of a friend of mine, a nobleman in Saxony, to his brethren, the States of Upper Lusatia, assembled at the Diet at Bautzen, may be given, consistently with truth. With a view to irritate his feelings, or, as the vulgar phrase is, to quiz him, they pretended to believe all the infamous stories, related by certain authors concerning the practices of the Brethren at Herrnhut, representing them as a very profligate and licentious sect; and challenged him to deny them. “ Pray, gentlemen,” he replied, “ do not assert, that you believe these things, for I know you all so well, that if you really did believe, that all manner of licentiousness might be practised at Herrnhut with impunity, there is not one of you, who would not long ago have requested to be received as a member of such a community."
NOTE XXXIX. Page 368.
South appears to stigmatize Owen as the person who introduced language of this kind.
" As I shew before that the ori's and the dióti's, the Deus dixit and the Deus benedixit, could not be accounted wit; so neither can the whimsical cant of Issues, Products, Tendencies, Breathings, Indwellings, Rollings, Recumbencies, and Scriptures misapplied, be accounted divinity.” A marginal note says, “ Terms often and much used by one J. o. a great leader and oracle in those times."
NOTE XL. Page 376.
This person has left on record a striking example of the extravagancies which were encouraged at Kingswood at this time. It is related in a letter to Mr. Wesley.
“ Far be it from me, to attribute the convictions of sin (the work of the Holy Ghost) to Beelzebub ! No; neither do I say that those strong wrestlings are of God only. I thought, you had understood my opinion better, touching this matter. I believe, that before a soul is converted to God, the spirit of rebellion is in every one, that is born into the world; and while Satan armed keepeth his hold, the man enjoys a kind of peace, mean time, the Holy Ghost is offering a better peace, according to that Scripture, Behold, I stand at the door, and knock,' &c. Now, after the word of the Most High has touched the heart, I think the serpent is seeking to root it up, or choke the seed; but as the Spirit of God has gained entrance, he rageth with all his might; and as far as he hath power, troubleth the soul with the justice
of God, with fear of having passed the day of grace, or having sinned too greatly to be forgiven, in order to make them despair. Hence ariseth a fierce combat in the inward parts, so that the weaker part of man, the body, is overcome, and those cries and convulsions follow.
“ On Monday evening, I was preaching at the school on the forgiveness of sins, when two persons who, the night before, had laughed at others, cried out with a loud and bitter cry.
So did many more, in a little time. Indeed, it seemed, that the Devil, and much of the powers of darkness, were come among us.
My mouth was stopped, and my ears heard scarce any thing, but such terrifying cries, as would have made any one's knees tremble! Only judge. It was pitch dark; it rained much ; and the wind blew vehemently. Large Alashes of lightning, and loud claps of thunder, mixt with the screams of frightened parents and the exclamations of nine distressed souls! The hurry and confusion caused hereby cannot be expressed. The whole place seemed to me to resemble nothing but the habitation of apostate spirits; many raving up and down, crying, · The Devil will have me! I am his servant; I am damned !' —My sins can never be pardoned ! I am gone, gone for ever !' A young man (in such horrors, that seven or eight could not hold him) still roared, like a dragon, Ten thousand devils, millions, millions of devils are about me! This continued three hours. One cried out, “ That fearful thunder is raised by the Devil : in this storm he will bear me to hell! O what a power reigned amongst us ! Some cried out, with a bollow voice, · Mr. Cennick ! Bring Mr. Cennick! I came to all that desired me. They then spurned with all their strength, grinding their teeth, and expressing all the fury that heart can conceive. Indeed, their staring eyes, and swelled faces, so amazed others, that they cried out almost as loud as they who were tormented. I have visited several since, who told me, their senses were taken away; but when I drew near, they
said, they felt fresh rage, longing to tear me to pieces! I never saw the like, nor even the shadow of it before! Yet, I can say, I was not in the least afraid, as I knew God was on our side."
NOTE XLI. Page 397. System of Itinerarcy proposed as a Substitute for the
During the Little Parliament, “ Harrison, being authorized thereto, had at once put down all the parish ministers of Wales, because that most of them were ignorant and scandalous, and had set up a few itinerant preachers in their stead, who were for number incompetent for so great a charge, there being but one for many of those wide parishes; so that the people, having a sermon but once in many weeks, and nothing else in the mean time, were ready to turn Papists, or any thing else. And this is the plight which the Anabaptists and other sectaries would have brought the whole land to. And all was, that the people might not be tempted to think the parish-churches to be true churches, or infant baptism true baptism, or themselves true Christians; but might be convinced, that they must be made Christians and churches in the Anabaptists
” and Separatists' way. Hereupon it was put to the vote in this parliament, whether all the parish ministers in England should at once be put down or no ? and it was but accidentally carried in the negative by two voices.” — Baxter's Life and Times, p. 70.
Hugh Peters's advice was, that “ they must sequester all ministers without exception, and bring the revenues of the church into one public treasury; out of which must be allowed a hundred a year to six itinerant ministers to preach in every county.” And this scheme was in great measure carried into effect. " Whether these itinerants," says Walker, “ were confined to a certain district, and to a settled and stated order of appearing at each church so
many times in a quarter, (for the number of churches in proportion to that of the itinerants in some of the counties would not permit them to preach so much as one sermon in a month,) I cannot tell : but I do not remember to have met with any thing that should incline me to think they were under
directions of this kind, besides that of their own roving humours; or put under any confinement more straight than that of a whole county; nor always even that, (such was the greatness of their abilities and capacities,) for I find some of them in the same years in two several counties, and receiving their salaries in both of them.” — Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, pp. 147. 158.
This author affirms, that the amount of the church revenue in Wales, “ some way or other in the possession of the Committees, or Propagators, or those whom they appointed to possess or collect them, for the whole time of the usurpation, appears on the most modest computation to have been above £345,000, an immense heap of sacrilege and plunder. Almost all was torn from particular churchmen, who were in the legal possession of it; and no small part converted to the private uses of the plunderers.”
NOTE XLII. Page 404.
At the Conference of 1766 Wesley speaks of Maxfield as the first layman who “ desired to help him as a son in the Gospel ; soon after came a second, Thomas Richards ; and a third, Thomas Westall.” But in his last journal he has the following curious notice: -" I read over the experience of Joseph Humphrys, the first lay preacher that assisted me in England in the year 1738. From his own mouth I learn that he was perfected in love, and so continued for at least a twelvenionth. Afterwards he turned Calvinist and joined Mr. Whitefield, and published an invective against my brother and me in the newspaper. In a while he renounced Mr. Whitefield and was ordained