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first chapter, and is aware of the bearing towards Antinomianism which was beginning to infect other denominations also, will find reason to bless God for thus qualifying him to stem the torrent of False Calvinism. His success among good men, whose hearts were attached to true holiness, as well as to sovereign and efficacious grace, was
very extensive: though others, respecting whom there is too much reason to fear that their error originated in a wind which could not bear subjection to the divine law, have since waxed worse and worse.
His ardent love of truth, and his earnest concern that God would preserve him from error, on the right hand and on the left, is strongly evinced by the following document, found among his papers since his death.
It was written as early as Jan. 10, 1780, and occasioned by perusing a piece on the Arminian side, written at the time of the controversy between the Calvinistic and Arminian Methodists-a debate which, I have been inclined to think, was not very ably nor fairly conducted on either side. Mr. Fuller's paper is entitled, A solemn Vow, or renewal of Covenant
“ O my God! (Let not the Lord be angry with his servant for thus speaking,) I have, thou knowest, beretofore sought thy truth. I have earnestly intreated thee, that thou wouldest lead me into it; that I might be rooted, established, and built up in it, as it is ia Jesus. I have seen the truth of that saying It is a good thing to have the heart established with grace,' and now I would this day solemnly renew my prayer to thee, and also enter afresh into covenant with thee.
“ O Lord God! I find myself in a world where tbousands profess thy name; some are preaching, some writing, some talking about religion. All profess to be searching after truth; to have Christ and the inspired writers on their side. I am afraid lest I should be turned aside from the simplicity of the gospel. I feel my understanding full of darkness, my reason exceedingly imperfect, my will ready to start aside, and my passions strangely volatile. O illumine mine understanding, teach my reason reason,' my will rectitude, and let every faculty of wbich I am possessed be kept within the bounds of thy service.
“O let not the sleight of wicked men, who lie in wait to deceive, nor even the pious character of good men, (who yet may be under great mistakes) draw me aside. Nor do thou suffer my own fancy to misguide me. Lord, thou hast given me a determination to take up no principle at second-hand ; but to search for every thing at the pure fountain of thy word. Yet, Lord, I am afraid, seeing I am as liable to err as other men, lest I should be led aside from truth by mine own imagination. Hast thou not promised, “The meek thou wilt guide in judgment, and the meek thou wilt teach thy way?' Lord, thou knowest, at this time, my heart is not haughty, nor are mine eyes lofty. O'guide me by thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory.'
“ One thing in particular I would pray for ; namely, that I may not only be kept from erroneous principles, but may so love the truth as never to keep it back. O Lord, never let me, under the specious pretence of preaching holiness, neglect to promulge the truths of thy word; for this day I see, and have all along found, that holy practice has a necessary dependence on sacred principle. O Lord, if thou wilt
mine eyes to behold the wonders of thy word, and give me to feel their transforming tendency, then shall the Lord be my God; then let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I shun to declare, to the best of my knowledge, the whole counsel of God.”
Some account has already been given of the controversy which his first publication respected, and repeated references are made to the manuscript in his first diary: he kept it long by him, and showed it to several friends who agreed with him in sentiment, as well as
to some who retained the opposite opinion. In his second diary there are various references to the same subject, which show how cautiously he proceeded in this business.
“ 1784. Aug. 20.--Conversation with a friend has occasioned much concern of mind. I feel myself a poor, ignorant creature, and have many misgivings of heart, about engaging in defence of what l esteem truth, lest the cause of Christ should be injured through me. Surely if I did not believe that in defence of which I write, to be important truth, I would hide my head in obscurity all my days.
“ 21.--Much pained at heart to-day, while reading in Dr. Owen, for whose character I feel a high. veneration. Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man! O that I might be led into divine truth! Christ and his cross be all my theme.' Surely I love his name, and wish to make it the centre in which all the lines of my ministry should meet! The Lord direct my way in respect of publishing. Assuredly he knows my end is to vindicate the excellence of his character, and his worthiness of being loved and credited.
“ 23.–The weight of publishing still lies upon me.
I expect a great share of unhappiness through it. I had certainly much rather go through the world in peace, did I not
I feel a
consider this step as my duty. jealousy of myself, lest I should not be endued with meekness and patience sufficient for controversy. The Lord keep me! I wish to suspect my own spirit, and go forth leaning on him for strength. I heard yesterday, that Mr. William Clarke is likely to come to Carlton : the Lord grant he may! O that I were of such a meek and lowly spirit as that good man !
“25.-Conversation with a friend this day, makes me abhor myself, and tremble about writing in a public way. O how little real meekness and lowliness of heart do I possess !
“ 26.-I felt some tenderness to-day at the church-meeting; but much depression of spirit generally now attends me. I feel a solid satisfaction that the cause in which I am about to engage, is the cause of truth and righteousness; but I am afraid lest it should suffer through me.
“ Oct. 21.–1 feel some pain in the thought of being about to publish on the obligations of men to believe in Christ, fearing / shall hereby expose myself to a good deal of abuse, which is disagreeable to the flesh. Had I not a satisfaction that it is the cause of God and truth, I would drop all thoughts of printing. The Lord keep me week and lowly in heart.
“ Nov. 16.-Employed in finishing my manuscript for the press. Wrote some thoughts on 1 Cor. xvi. 22. but have great reason for