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ing words, “We may look upon enthusiasm as a kind of drunken. ness, filling and intoxicating the brain with the heated fumes of spi. rituous particles. Now no sooner does the inebriation go off, but a coldness and dulness take place.”
12. As wildly do you talk (Sect. 9, p. 79, &c.) of the doubts and fears incident to those who are weak in faith. I cannot prevail upon myself to prostitute this awful subject, by entering into any debate concerning it, with one who is innocent of the whole affair. Only I must observe, that a great part of what you advance concerning me, is entirely wide of the question. Such is all you quote from the first, and a considerable part of what you quote from my second Journal. This you know in your own conscience; for you know I speak of myself during the whole time, as having no faith at all. Consequently, the “risings and fallings” I experienced then, have nothing to do with those “doubts and fears, which many go through after they have by faith received remission of sins."
The next words which you cite, “thrown into great perplexities,"? I cannot find in the page you refer to; neither those that follow. The sum of them is, that " at that time I did not feel the love of God, but found deadness and wanderings in public prayer, and coldness even at the holy communion.” Well, Sir, and have you never found in yourself any such coldness, deadness, and wanderings ? I am persuaded you have.
have. And yet surely your brain is always cool and temperate ! Never “ intoxicated with the heated fumes of spirituous particles!”
13. If you quote not incoherent scraps (by which you may make any thing out of any thing,) but entire connected sentences, it will appear that the rest of your quotations make no more for your purpose than the foregoing. Thus, although I allow that on May 24, (Second Journal, Vol. I. p. 190,) • I was much buffeted with temptations; but I cried to God, and they fled away; that they returned again and again ; I as often lifted up my eyes, and he sent me help from his holy place :' it will only prove the very observation I make myself. I was fighting both under the law and under grace. But then I was sometimes, if not often, conquered: now I was always conqueror.'
That some time after, I was strongly assaulted again, and after recovering peace and joy, was thrown into perplexity afresh by a letter, asserting, that no doubt or fear could consist with true faith : that my weak mind could not then bear to be thus sawn asunder;' will not appear strange to any who are not utter novices in experimental religion. No more than that one night the next year, 'I had no life or spirit in me, and was much in doubt whether God would not lay me aside, and send other labourers into his harvest.'
14. You add, “He owns his frequent relapses into sin, for near twice ten years. Such is the case of a person who tells us, that he carefully considered every step he took; one of intimate communi. cation with the Deity." Sir, I did not tell you that: though, according to custom, you mark the words as mine. It is well for you;
that forging quotations is not felony. My words are, what a hypocrite have I been, (if this be so) for near twice ten years ? But I know it is not so. I know every one under the Law, is even as I was ;' namely, from the time I was twelve years old, till considerably above thirty.,
“ And is it strange,” you say, “ that such an one should be destitute of means to resolve his scruples? Should be ever at variance with himself, and find no place to fix his foot ?" Good Sir, not too fast. You quite out-run the truth again. Blessed be God, this is not my case.
I am not destitute of means to resolve my scruples. I have some friends, and a little reason left. I am not ever at variance with myself; and have found a place to fix my foot.
'Now I have found the ground wherein
Firm my soul's anchor may remain ;
Before the world's foundation slain.' And yet one of your assertions I cannot deny: namely, that you “could run the parallel between me and numbers of fanatical Papists.” And that not only with regard to my temper, but my stature, complexion, yea (if need were) the very colour of my hair.
15. In your next section (p. 29) you are to give an account of the “spiritual succours and advantages received either during these trials or very soon after.” It is no wonder you make as lame work with these, as with the conflicts which preceded them. “As the heart knoweth its own bitterness, so a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. But it is no business of mine, as you have not done me the honour to cite any of my words in this section.
16. “ The unsteadiness of the Methodists, both in sentiments and practice,” (p. 95, &c.) is what you next undertake to prove. Your loose declamation with which you open the cause, I pass over, as it s'ests on your own bare word; and haste to your main reason, drawn from my sentiments and practice, with regard to the Moravians.
“ He represents them," you say, “in the blackest colours; yet declares, in the main they are some of the best people in the world. Ilis love and esteem for them, increase more and more. His own disciples among the Methodists go over to them in crowds. But still Methodism is the strongest barrier against the Moravian doctrines and principles."
Sir, I bear you witness, you have learned one principle at least, from those with whom you have lately conversed; namely, that no faith is to be kept with heretics ; of which you have given us abunolant proof. For you know I have fully answered every article of this charge, which you repeat as if I had not opened my lips about it. You know, that there is not one grain of truth, in several things which you here positively assert. For instance, “ His love and esteem of them, increase more and more.” Not so, no more than my love and estenm for you. I love you both; but I do not much esteem cither. Again, “ His own disciples among the Methodists, go over to them in crowds." When ? Where ? I know not that ten of my
disciples, as you call them, have gone over to them for twice ten months. o Sir, consider ! How do you know, but some of your disciples may tell your name! 17. With the same veracity you go on.
“ In the Character of a Methodist, those of the sect are described as having all the virtues that can adorn the Christian profession. But in their journals you find them waspish, condemning all the world, except themselves, and among themselves perpetual broils and confusions, with various other irregularities and vices.". I answer, 1. The tract you refer to (as is expressly declared in the preface) does not describe what the Methodists are already; but what they desire to be, and what they will be then, when they fully practise the doctrines they hear. 2. Be pleased to point the pages in my Journals which mention those “various irregularities and vices.” Of their perpetual broils and confusions” ( shall speak under their proper bead.
You add, “Sometimes they are so far from fearing death, that they wish it. But the keenness of the edge is soon blunted. They are full of dreadful apprehensions, that the clergy intend to murder them.”
Do you mean me, Sir? I plead not guilty. I never had any such apprehension. Yet I suppose you designed the compliment for me, by your dragging in two or three broken sentences from my first Journal. But how little to the purpose ! Seeing at the time that was written, I had never pretended to be above the fear of death. So that this is no proof of the point in view, of the “unsteadiness of my sentiments or practice.”
18. You proceed, “One day, they fancy it their duty to preach ; the next, they preach with great reluctance.” Very true ! But they fancy it their duty still ; else they would not preach at all. This, therefore, does not prove any inequality either of sentiment or practice. “Mr. Wesley is sometimes quite averse from speaking, and then perplexed with the doubt, is it a prohibition from the good Spirit ? or a temptation from nature and the evil one ?"
Just of a piece with the rest. The sentence runs thus, “I went several times with a design to speak to the sailors, but could not. I mean, I was quite averse from speaking. Is not this what men commonly mean by, I could not speak? And is this a suificient cause of silence or not? Is it a probibition from the good Spirit? Or a temptation from nature or the evil one ?" Sir, I was in no doubt at all on the occasion. Nor did I intend to express any in these words; but to appeal to men's consciences, whether what they call a prohibition from the good Spirit, be not a mere temptation from nature or the evil one?
19. In the next section (p. 102) you are to show “the art, cunning, and sophistry of the Methodists, who, when hard pressed by argument, run themselves into inconsistency and self-contradiction; and occasionally either defend or give up some of their favourite notions and principal points.” I dare say, Sir, you will not put them to the trial. Argument lies out of the way of one,
Solulos Qui captat risus hominum, famamque dicacis. But to the proof, “Mr. Wesley," you say, “at one time declares for a disinterested love of God: at another declares, there is no one caution in all the Bible, against the selfish love of God.” Nay, Sir, I will tell you what is stranger still. Mr. Wesley holds at one time, both sides of this contradiction. I now declare both that all true love is disinterested, seeketh not her own : and that there is no one caution in all the Bible, against the selfish love of God.' What, have I the art to slip out of your hands again ? • Pardon me (as your old friend says) for being jocular.'
20. You add, (altius insurgens,) “But it is a considerable offence to charge another wrongfully, and contradict himself about the doctrine of assurance.” To prove this upon me, you bring my own words. The assurance we preach, is of quite another kind from that Mr. Bedford writes against. We speak of an assurance of our present pardon ; not, as he does, of our final perseverance,' (Third Journal, Vol. I. p. 238.) “Mr. Wesley might have considered (you say) that when they talk of assurance of pardon and salvation, the world will extend the meaning of the words, to our eternal state." I do consider it, Sir. And therefore I never use that phrase either in preaching or writing. “ Assurance of pardon and salvation” is an expression that never comes out of my lips. And if Mr. Whitefield does use it, yet he does not preach such an assurance, as the privilege of all Christians.
“But Mr. Wesley himself says, that though a “full assurance of faith doth not necessarily imply a full assurance of our future perseverance,' yet some have both the one and the other.' And now what becomes of his charge against Mr. Bedford ? And is it not mere evasion to say afterwards, This is not properly an assurance of what is future ?!” Sir, this argument presses me very hard! May | not be allowed a little evasion now ? Come, for once I will try to do without it, and to answer flat and plain.
And I answer, 1. That faith is one thing ; the full assurance of faith another: 2. That even the full assurance of faith, does not imply the full assurance of perseverance.
This bears another name; being styled by St. Paul, The full assurance of hope. 3. Some Christians have only the first of these. They have faith; but mixed with doubts and fears. Some have also the full assurance of faith ; a full conviction of present pardon: and yet not the full assurance of hope; not a full conviction of their future perseverance. 4. The faith which we preach, as necessary to all Christians, is the first of these, and no other. Therefore, 5. It is no evasion at all to say, “This (the faith which we preach as necessary to all Christians) is not properly an assurance of what is future. And consequently, my charge against Mr. Bedford stands good, “That his sermon on assurance, is an ig. noratio elenchi, (an ignorance of the point in question,) from beginning to end.' Ìherefore neither do I “charge another wrongfully, nor contradict myself, about the doctrine of assurances."
21. To prove my “art, cunning, and evasion,” you instance next in the case of impulses and impressions. You begin, “ With what pertinacious confidence have impulses, impressions, feelings, &c. been advanced into certain rules of conduct? Their followers have been taught to depend upon them, as sure guides and infallible proofs.” To support this weighty charge, you bring one single scrap, about a line and a quarter from one of my Journals. The words are these ; • By the most infallible of proofs, inward feeling, I am convinced. Convinced of what? It immediately follows, of unbelief, having no such faith, as will prevent my heart from being troubled.
I here assert, that inward feeling or consciousness is the most infallible of proofs
, of unbelief, of the want of such a faith as will prevent the heart's being troubled. But do I here “advance impressions, impulses, feelings, &c. into certain rules of conduct ?"" Or any where else? You may just as well say, I advance them into certain proofs of transubstantiation. Neither in writing, nor in private conversation, have I ever “taught any of my followers to depend upon them as sure guides or infallible proofs" of any thing.
Nay, you yourself own, I have taught quite the reverse : and that at my very first setting out. Then, as well as ever since, I have told the societies, • They were not to judge by their own inward feelings. I warned them, all these were in themselves of a doubtful, disputable nature. They might be from God, or they might not, and were therefore to be tried by a further rule, to be brought to the only eertain test, the Law and the Testimony,' Third Journal, Vol. I.
This is what I have taught from first to last. And now, Sir, what becoines of your heavy charge? On what side lies the “ pertinacious eonfidence” now? How clearly have you made out, my “inconsistency and self-contradiction !" And that I “occasionally either der fend or give up, my favourite motions and principal points ?
22. “ Inspiration and the exraordinary calls and guidances of the Holy Ghost, are what you next affirm to be given up,” (p. 106, &c.) Not by me. I do not give up one tittle on this head, which I ever maintained. But observe. Before you attempt to prove my giving them up, you are to prove, that I laid claim to them : that I laid claim to some extraordinary inspiration, call, or guidance of the Holy Ghost. You say, “My concessions on this head (to Mr. Church) are ambiguous and evasive.” Sir, you mistake the fact, I make no concessions at all, either to him or you. I give up nothing that ever I advanced on this head. But when Mr. Church charged me with what I did not advance, I replied, 'I claim no other direction of God's, but what is common to all believers. I pretend to be no otherwise inspired, than you are, if you love God.' 'Where is the ambiguity or evasion in this? I meant it for a flat denial of the charge.
23. Your next section, Spirat tragicum satis, charges the Methodists; “with skepticism and infidelity, with doubts and denials of the