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he was conciliatory and fascinating in the intercourse of his public life. To do good was his delight; but he desired to do it on a grand scale. To instruct a parish or a colony was wearisome; but it was glorious to convert the world.
Nor as a reasoner or a politician was he always ingenuous or just. Where it answered his purpose he sometimes softened down and explained away those doctrines on which, at other times, he insisted most strongly. He was guilty of equivocation with Bishop Gibson; with Gibbon; and when it was necessary to get rid of the unfavourable impression which had been excited against him in America by his work against the Insurgents. He must have been sensible of his inconsistency in professing himself a member of the Church of England while so many of his measures tended to overturn her authority. It was impossible that a mind like his could have been satisfied by the arguments which he employed to reconcile his schism with his avowed desire of union; and the Moravians had good reason to complain of him, as either having, for many months, connived at guilt, or having, after his quarrel with them, calumniated innocence.
His vanity was a slighter failing, and for which many more excuses might be made. After the success which he had met with, and the popularity which he had enjoyed, he inust have been more than human had he not been sometimes elevated in his own opivion. Yet it was no common degree of vanity which could prompt him to preach on, and apply to himself, such a text as Isaiali lxi. 1, 2.; or which could make him talk, as he did in one of his journals, of being followed by the Hosannas of the multitude. Perhaps something of the same spirit might be traced in the singular but graceful manner in which he departed from the usual fashion of wearing the hair; and it is to this, unquestionably, that we may
ascribe the confidence with which he spoke and wrote on subjects with which he was least acquainted, which made him speak slightingly of Newton, and contemptuously of Locke, and which gave to the world the most extraordinary Treatise on Diseases and their Remedies, which has appeared on this side of Moorfields.
To the same source may be referred, in a great degree, the credulity of which there are so many instances given in Mr. Southey's volumes. Believing himself to be an extraordinary person, and engaged in an enterprize of the most important character, he lent a ready faith to whatever marvels had a tendency to designate him as the favourite of God, or the peculiar object of Satan's fury. If any among his hearers pretended to visions, or to be the victim of diabolical possession, he never seems to have thought it necessary to examine into the truth of the ecstasies, but to have taken
all for granted: because, when such a wondrous work was advancing in the world, such wonders and such supernatural agency were in their place, and reasonably to be expected. If his horses fell lame, it was the malice of the old Murderer' which had power over them. If his progress was cheered by a favourable change of weather, he immediately recognized the peculiar finger of Providence encouraging him to persevere in his labours. His sondness for divination by lot, and by the casual opening of a Bible, could only be explained from his believing himself entitled, from his character and situation, to ask and expect the peculiar and immediate guidance of the Almighty. And it is strange that, while so many of his objectionable opinions were softened down by age and experience, this presumptuous habit appears to have attended him through life, unchecked by repeated failures, and the public reproof of his coadjutor and rival, Whitefield; unless indeed we suppose that the reproof itself contributed to its continuance.
As a logician he piqued himself, as we have seen, on his skill; and it must be allowed that his writings in general are distinguished by a remarkable force, acuteness, and vivacity of couception and expression. Yet, it is also remarkable that the doctrines which he most anxiously insisted on through life, were not only incapable of being moulded into any consistent system, but were, many of them, in direct opposition to each other. His tenet of assurance was decidedly Calvinistic; and one which could not, without great violence to common sense, be separated from the notion of absolute election. His doctrine of Christian perfection had as direct a tendency to make men Mystics or Antinomians; for what can be the use of ordinances to him who needs no further grace; and what is law to him who cannot sin? Yet Wesley was too good a logician to be a Calvinist; he was too pure and holy to fall into the Antinomian errors, and he had too cool a head to remain long a Mystic. How strange that he did not perceive that his eclectic divinity could not stand by itself, and that if he went thus far he must go farther! Nor is it easy to apprehend how his powerful mind, while it honestly lamented the disorders and vices, the pride, envy, and slander which prevailed in his societies, should not have perceived that the details of his discipline were of themselves calculated to generate such a spirit, and to undo, in a great measure, in the minds of his followers, the good which his preaching and example had produced in them.
Of that preaching we have already given a favourable specimen, and it would be vain to deny it the praise of no common degree of impressive eloquence. His general fault was a too indiscriminate use of the terrors of the Lord;' a too constant attempt to stimulate the unconverted soul to a sense of the danger and misery of D3
its condition by the use of all the most dreadful imagery which a vivid imagination could supply, assisted by the menaces of scripture and the refinements of the monks' of the middle ages.
That such alarming sermons were often productive of the best effects, and that, amid his rude and stubborn hearers, they produced this effect where no milder strain could have succeeded, we are fully ready to allow. But he prided himself too much on the manner in which he wielded the thunder, regardless of the effect which it daily produced on those whose nerves were weak or consciences tender;
and the evil was increased and rendered less excusable when, instead of warning them to fly from the wrath to come by repentance, he referred them to their inward feelings, and bade them seek for comfort and safety in a fancied new birth and a presumptuous self-assurance of salvation.
How far the prevalence of Methodism is favourable or otherwise to the cause of religion, is a point on which mankind will, of course, think very differently. Of its direct and incidental advantages, and of the evils which have sprung from it, we have already spoken sufficiently. Those evils are many of them, indeed, no other than the natural and necessary consequences of every great religious ferment; the offences,' to which all such agitating revivals are liable, whether in themselves beneficial or otherwise. But in the very system and machinery of methodism, there is much, very much, which in our opinion tends to increase these evils. Besides the folly of restricting men from recreations which keep the mind in health; discouraging, if not prohibiting, the accomplishments which give a grace to life; separating its members from general society, and breaking up families and friendships; besides the unreasonable and monastic moroseness of Wesley's system of education, his total ignorance of the nature of children, and the abominable abuses to which, among adults, his band meetings, covenants and mutual confessions were liable; it cannot be denied that his system, even at the best, tended to produce more of the appearance than the reality of religion,
! It dealt too much in sensations, and in outward manifestations of theopathy; it made religion too much a thing of display, and affair of sympathy and confederation; it led persons too much from their homes and their closets ; it imposed too many forms; it required too many professions; it exacted too many exposures. And the necessary consequence was, that many, when their enthusiasm abated, became mere formalists, and kept up a Pharisaical appearance of holiness, when the whole feeling had evaporated.'-vol. ii. p. 528.
When such is the case, we certainly dare not resign ourselves to the pleasing hope expressed by Mr. Southey, that Methodism, as it is now constituted, can again draw towards the establishment from which it has receded, and deserve to be recognized as an auxiliary institution of the Church of England.' Be this, however, as it may, there is much to be learned from the volumes now before us. The ardent and enthusiastic minister of religion, who aspires to advance the cause of God and goodness, by whatever means and at the price of whatever sacrifices, may do well, from the example of Wesley, to learn that Christian prudence is a part not only of wisdom but of duty; and that strife once begun, in however trifling instances, has a tendency to enlarge the breach, till what was at first dispute, becomes at length division. And they who think most unfavourably of the measures which he pursued, may recollect that his many virtues, his piety, his selfdenial, his activity, his boundless charity, if they contributed to the success of his views, were, in themselves, no part of his schism, and that no common blessing must wait on the man who, while he avoids the last, endeavours to rival him in the former,
Art. II.-1. A statistical, historical and political Description of the Colony of New South Wales, and its dependent Settlements in Van Diemen's Land, with a particular enumeration of the Advantages which these Colonies offer for Emigration, and their superiority in many respects over those possessed by the United States of America. By W. C. Wentworth, Esq. a Native of the Colony. 8vo. pp. 466. London. 1819. 2. Journals of two Expeditions into the interior of New South
Wales, undertaken by order of the British Government, in the years 1817-18. By John Oxley, Surveyor General of the territory and Lieutenant of the Royal Navy. 4to. pp. 408.
London. 1820. THE
HE Dutch, who were the discoverers of that vast body of
land in the southern hemisphere, (which modern geographers distinguish by the name of Terra Australis, or Australia,)
called it New Holland, little dreaming, perhaps, that at some future period the similarity of it to the old country would be found to sanction the name. That such is the case, the recent discoveries of Mr. Oxley seem to leave very little doubt.
Whether its swamps and morasses will, like those of its parent, be at any period brought into a state of cultivation, may admit of question. In the mean time, however, that part of the eastern coast settled by the British government is making prodigious advances, not only in moral and political importance, but also in geographical interest. The physical barrier, which had so long confined the researches of its new inhabitants to a narrow slip of land along the coast, has been broken down; the contracted point of view in which this immense
region (nearly equal in extent to all Europe) was originally contemplated as the land of felons,' has expanded, and a more brilliant light diffused itself over this fifth continent of the globe. A new generation has grown up, in no way responsible nor reproachable for the crimes of their parents ; voluntary settlers have emigrated from the mother country with their little capitals and a stock of honest and industrious habits; the state of society has in consequence undergone a material change for the better; property of all kinds has improved in value and security; and successful industry given a new and pleasing aspect to these distant shores, now smiling with cultivation.
It was to be expected, as a natural consequence of the increasing population and prosperity of the two colonies of New Holland (now New South Wales) and Van Diemen's Land, that the claims of the settlers on the mother country would rise in proportion to their progress; and that their views would one day outstep the original intention for which those settlements were established. That period has arrived; but we confess that we were not quite prepared for the extent of their demands, or for the dictatorial and menacing tone assumed by their advocate, Mr. Wentworth. This stripling Australian displays a considerable share of ingenuity in the fashionable occupation of constitutionmongering. There is not the least shadow,' he tells us, of a free government in New South Wales,' because, -as this beardless Solon of the new world gravely adds, the country possesses neither a council, a house of assembly, nor even the privilege of trial by jury. These institutions may be very proper for a society previously fitted to receive them, and some of them may hereafter, and no doubt will, be introduced into Australia ; but, with all their excellence, Mr. Wentworth has yet to learn, that none of them, and least of all the last, are to be considered as a panacea adapted to the cases of all communities and all constitutions, With regard to New South Wales, it never was intended to consider it, during its infancy, in any other light than an enlarged prison for the custody, correction and employment of convicted felons; and, so long as the major part of the population consists of
persons of this description, the propriety, or indeed the possibility, of a 'free government,' may be questioned. It is very much doubted, by those best informed on the subject, whether the settlers, not of the description of felons, are yet sufficiently numerous and enlightened, to be intrusted with an active share in the government of the colony; and more particularly, to sit aś jurymen on the lives and property of their fellow citizens. Of the wisdom or expediency of establishing a 'house of assembly’there are equal doubts. In such an assembly we have but too many