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rant fanaticism; and of diffufing the words of the gofpel in the lan guage of temperance-in the fpirit of foberness and truth. The event, jufti fies the wisdom on which the practice is founded. Compare the mild tenour of our bleffed Lord's preaching, with the difgufting, inflated, and fometimes blafphemous jargon of the conventicles: to imitate (and at beft we can do no more) the fimplicity and force which characterize our Saviour's discourses, was the wife, and pious aim of the Church in enjoining its minifters to preach from written fermons. The contemplation of the closet, when the mind is abftracted from the hurry and confufion of external diftracting objects, was properly conceived as preferable to the diforder and confufion of a difcourfe ftruck out at a heat, and partaking of all the deformity of a premature production.
But the lovers of ranting will, perhaps, difpute the pofition of its having, from the firft promulgation of Chriftianity, been the practice of its miniftry to preach from written difcourfes. But the objection is befide the queftion-at the first establishment of Chriftianity, times and circumstances did not perhaps concur to the adoption of that economy which a more quiet period, and a happier ftate of fociety, rendered expedient for the confervation of the Church.
All things cannot be of ancient continnance which are expedient and needful for the ordering of fpiritual affairs: but the Church being a body which dieth not, hath always power, as occafion requireth, no lefs to ordain that which never was, than to ratify what hath been before. To prefcribe the order of doing in all things, is a peculiar prerogative which wisdom hath as queen or fovereign commander over other virtues. in every feveral man's actions of common life appertaineth unto moral; in public and politic fecular affairs unto civil wifdom. In like manner, to devise any certain form for the outward administration of public duties in the fervice of GOD, or things belonging thereunto, and to find out the moft convenient for that ufe, is a point of wisdom ecclefiaftical." To this reafoning of the venerable Hooker, I am certain that every lover of the Church establishment will most heartily give his concurrence.
Perhaps the minifters to whom I allude, and whom I reprobate may be defirous of an intercommunity with the Methodists. Surely the flattering diftinction of " Gofpel minifters" has not feduced them? Have they deliberately confidered the nature of the new fellowship? let them remember, and I fpeak in a warning voice, that the members of that fect, independent of doctrinal points, have a rooted and marked averfion to lawn fleeves-to all the becoming provifions, decencies and decorations of the establishment; to the whole fyftem, letter and fpirit of Ecclefiaftical polity eftablished amongst us. Deacons, priefts, bishops and revenues, favour of the mammon of unrighteoufnefs, and ought therefore to be abolished.” That they reafon fo, is a fact.
That minifters of the order which they defpife, and would willingly deftroy, fhould give a fanction to thefe reafouings by their practice, is at once a violation of decency and prudence, which no excufe, no palliation. can remove or juftify. The Church of England has long been an eye-fore to the rabble of fanaticifin: who, vainly arrogating to themfelves a peculiar fanctity of manner, and affecting to defpife the ample bounty of Providence, would willingly perfuade us that their only aim is an approximation to the virtue and a defire to undergo the many privations of the firft L14 Chriftians.
Chriftians. But, Sir, in England most of us conceive that it is envy and malignity towards thofe who are often the beginners of their own fortune,. and not a love of the felf-denial and mortification of the ancient church, that fome look afkance at the diftinctions and honours, and revenues, which, taken from no perfon, are fet apart for virtue. The ears of the people of England are diftinguishing. They hear thefe men fpeak broad. Their tongue betrays them. Their language is the patois of fraud; in the cant and gibberish of hypocrify.
The people of England must think fo when thefe praters affect to carry back the clergy to that primitive evangelic poverty, which, in fpirit, ought always to exift in them, (and in us too, however we may like it) but in the thing must be varied, when the relation of that body to the state is altered; when manners, when modes of life, when indeed the whole order of human affairs has undergone a total revolution. We fhall believe those reformers to be then honeft enthufiafts, not as now we think them, cheats and deceivers, when we fee them throwing their own goods into common, and fubmitting their own perfons to the auftere discipline of the early Church! let the innovators reflect on this.
The extempore preachers of the Church of England, no doubt will tell us, that it is a matter in itself indifferent, whether they inculcate the doctrines of the fcriptures from the chaftifed meditation of the clofet ; or, trufting to the immediate interpofition of the Holy Spirit, deliver themfelves agreeably to the happy fuggeftions of the moment. It is not the thing itfelf fo much which I condemn, but the defiance of authority and violation of canonical rule in which the danger lies. Rules and difcipline have hitherto been a means, under the direction of Providence, of conferving the establishment itself. And furely for thofe to weaken the authority of the Church by a difregard of its practice whofe real intereft it is to uphold it, is not only not indifferent, but reprehenfible in the highest degree. The thirty-fourth article of the Church of England tells us, that whoever, through his private judgment willingly and purpofely doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the word of GOD, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, (that others may fear to do the like) as one that offendeth againft the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the magiftråte, &c." The Extempore preachers, therefore, cannot plead ignorance in order to excufe themselves.
The fafeft way to overturn an establishment, is first to deny thofe subordinate branches of it, which are perhaps of no great importance-The ground being broken up, a fecond advance is made toward the deftruction of something more important, fo on to the confummation of the grand mischief the demolition of the fabric itself. The "gofpel preachers" having first brought into disrepute the wisdom and policy of preaching from written difcourfes, affuming courage from fuccefs, will denominate the furplice the fk of the we of Babylon, away goes this " relic of fuperftition ;" proceeding progreffively and confiftently with themselves, they will finally attack their fuperiors as a fecular and corrupt ariftocracy inconfiftent with the meekness and humility of the examples of Christ and his apoftles. The confequence is forefeen--the total ruin of the Church of England.
That the minifters to whom I allude have erred willingly and through their private judgment, is a fact beyond difpute that they ought to be: 2x rebuked
rebuked, and that with exemplary feverity, the very existence of the Church of England establishment most imperiously demands. And I most humbly conceive that it is the paramount duty of the dignified clergy, to interfere; and in order to break the fpirit of further meditated incroachments, it is an equal duty to interpofe their proper authority, coerce the delinquents, and remedy the abufe.
I have thus, Mr. Editor, pointed out to you both a notorious innovation, and the probable confequences of it, foliciting a place in your Journal, with the most confident hope that fuch a medium will convey the evil to the notice of that authority which is alone competent to correct it. Respectfully, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
The Methodistical Missionaries in Otaheite.
TO THE EDITOR.
AVING lately heard the "fighings and regrets" of feveral devout "golpellers" on the probable failure of the Miffionaries in Otaheite, I am induced, to offer a few obfervations on the caules which have còntributed to defeat the pious aim of these « chosen vessels” to christianize the favages of the Pacific Ocean; an undertaking which is at once a monument of their ignorance and folly. It is well known that the inhabitants of Otaheite and the circumjacent islands, are but a few degrees removed from the state of nature, poffeffing fcarcely any notion of the elements of morals, a knowledge of right and wrong. Yet upon the minds of thefe beings a futile attempt has been made to engraft a fpiritual fyftem, which before it can be rightly comprehended, demands not only a perception of the boundaries which mark vice and virtue, but requires a confiderable progréfs in civilization and refinement. The religion of Chrift appeared amongst mankind in the "fulness of time." The Romam empire was at its height; its arms and its arts, extended far and wide-and had fubdued the ferocity of the greater portion of the known world. He whofe means and ends are perfect wildom, chofe this peculiarly adapted period, for the divine miffion of Chrift, for the introduction of a purely fpiritual fyftem. The leading men of the ancient world, contemporary with our Bleffed Lord, had reached the fummit of elegance and philofophy: end, had diffused the spirit of these, amongst every people whom their valour had fubdued. Chriflianity appeared, therefore, at the happy moment, when the minds of men by previous difcipline were fully capable of comprehending its fublice truths; and when every human facility exifted for its wide and univerfal difperfion.
It could be proved, perhaps, that both the moral and physical habits of men, should bear an analogy to their religion; and I venture this affertion, without meaning the leaft difparagement to Chriftianity. Montefquieu, who was fo deeply read in the knowledge of humanity, and who was a fincere Chriftian tells us, that there are many local laws in various religions; and, when Montezuma with fo much obstinacy infifted that the religion of the Spaniards was good for their (own) country, and his for Mexico, he did not affert an abfurdity, becaule in fact legiflators could never help having a regard to what natine had established before them.
"The opinion of the metemphychofis is adapted to the climate of the Indies. An exceffive heat burns up all the country; they can breed but«. very few cattle; they are always in, danger of wanting them for tillage; their black cattle multiply but indifferently; and they are fubject to many diftempers; a law of religion which preserves them is therefore moft fuitable to the policy of the country."
This citation from the "Spirit of Laws," and indeed the whole of Montefquieu's celebrated performance may be of great ufe to the next fhip-load of Miffionaries. It is a profane book, and they may regret the advice. But I can venture to affure them that it contains more real practical wisdom, than can be found in all the fermons of all the fanatical declaimers who have ever difturbed and difgraced Chriftianity. Before thefe self-elected children of Grace attempt to reafon to the favages of the Southern Ocean upon the neceffity of the foul's falvation, they would do well to convince their untutored pupils, that they have a foul to be faved. And before they expatiate upon a state of final retribution hereafter, they would act wifely to amend their lives in this prefent fublunary ftate. Before they taught these poor creatures to fly to Heaven, they fhould have inftructed them how to walk fafely on earth. If they follow this necellary progreffion they may perhaps fucceed. But not till then.
It appears clearly, therefore, that the Miffionaries have begun at the wrong end; and have made an attempt to conftruct the roof without the least thought of laying a stone towards the foundation. From fuch architects who could expect a fuperftructure?
First of all in the unintelligibly jargon of their fect, they preach to these poor creatures on the original depravity of their nature, without imparting to them, or endeavouring fo to do, what that nature is; then upon the difficult fubject of the atonement, which many men even of ftrong minds, improved by education, but feebly comprehend; in this attempt they have hitherto met with infuperable difficulty. The poor iflanders cannot be perfuaded bu that hogs will fufficiently answer the purpose as a fatisfaction for their crime "We find it impoflible" fays the compiler of the Millionary transactions, when writing of the natives of Otaheite " to make those (whom) we have to do with sensible of their foul's value, or indeed what their fouls are; for the generality of them feem to conceive that it is fomething out of them rather than in them; that it refides in the Po, or other world, and only comes at certain feafons, as when they dream, &c. When we endeaveur to fpeak to them (rather reason with, or explain to them) about the hidden man of the heart, its nature, qualities, defilements, exposure to God's wrath, and way how to escape the fame, they feldom fail to laugh and treat it as an idle tale.”
I candidly acknowledge, Mr. Editor, that I too, have had fome little difficulty in fuppreffing the rifible faculties of my mind, on perafing fuch canting fluff, fo admirably fuited to the meridian of Moorfields. As might have been foreseen thefe fanatical medlers have not made a fingle convert among
*We earnestly recommend to our able correspondent a re-confideration of the tendency of this doctrine of Montefquieu, one inference from which would be (and an inference which might on his hypothefis, be fupported with great plaufibility) that the Chriftian religion is not adapted to every nation, and climate.
the Otaheitans; and, never will unless they pursue a course very oppofite to that which has continued to mark their very injudicious and ill-conducted miffion; and I cannot but confider it as a strong proof both of presumption and vanity, on the part of the Miffionaries thus to arrogate to themselves the means of accomplishing fuch an undertaking; fancying themfelves the chofen inftruments of God to extend the light of the Golpel into new regions, they have not only excited the juft reprehenfions of fenfible and pious minds; but have actually fullied the luftre of religion itself: and have given too much occafion to doubting minds to fufpect the efficacy of a fyftem, which under fuch management has produced no other fruit than "chaff and stubble." Their prayers, their faftings and hypocritical fervour, have been of no avail in attempting to break in upon the hidden designs of Providence ; who, it appears whenever it shall seem to him meet, will most probably employ a fitter agency to accomplish his purpose than a number of ignorant and vainly ambitious men, who are neither illumined by the fpirit of pure. Christianity, nor rendered qualified for the purpose, by the acquifitions of learning, and an attention to the arts of civil life.
They will tell us that they meant well and that they have obeyed what they conceived to be the divine and irrefiftible impulfe of the Holy Spirit. So did John Matthias, and his coadjutor, the taylor of Leyden, and their followers at Munster, on another occafion, and fo will evey new fect of fanaticism which may hereafter arise. Men of this character mistaking the mad extravagance of religious infanity for heavenly delegation, have done uncommon mischief, and have weakened the divine authority of religion more than the direct attacks of its most learned adverfaries, or indeed of any cause which has hitherto obstructed its progrefs. For furely they who are of no religion, and yet wish perhaps to afcertain the truth, must think lightly of Christianity when they fee men, whom they had been led to confider as acting by divine commiffion, alternately evincing the fimplicity of fools and the hypocrify and mischievous defigns of knaves.
Mr. McCallum's Vindication of his Travels against the Censures of the Anti-
WHEN we firft established our Review, we announced our determination to afford, to all Writers, whole Works might be cenfured in it, an oppor tunity of appealing to the public in their own vindication. To this determination we have ftrictly adhered. In purfuance of it we now infert, verbatim et literatim, Mr. Mac Callum's Letter, in juflification of his own Travels though written, at least parts of it, in fuch intemperate language, as would fully authorife our refufal to infert it. We fhall only allow ourselves to make one comment on its contents, viz. that it fupplies no answer to the principal objections of the Critic; founded on Mr. Mac Callum's violent attack upon an Officer against whom proceedings had been commenced, with a view to bring him to trial by a Competent Tribunal. And against all fuch attempts to bias the minds of those who are to fit in judgment upon perfons accufed, we have invariably fet.. our faces; and, indeed, it is, proper to apprize Mr. Mac Callum, that they are reprobated by the Laws of the Land, and are, in fact, indictable" offences.