It has been said of Tacitus, by persons who cannot however have caught his drift, and who must be only superficially acquainted with his writings, that by his cold way of relating enormous crimes he would in some sort appear not to have disapproved of them; and that the minds of his readers are corrupted by his not expressing that detestation and horror, which horrible and detestable proceedings should naturally excite. However untrue in its application to the Roman historian, the observation is founded on accurate knowledge of human nature. A cold style of describing affecting things is an error in point of taste—is contrary to the justice due to the audience or reader—and is moreover to slight and disregard their sympathies in your favour. Indeed it is the power to awaken sympathy that is at the bottom of all the marvellous workings of the masses in every age, and in every country; it is what

“ Shook the Arsenal, and fulmin'd over Greece

To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne.” It is what constituted the superiority of the mighty orator of Athens over a Compromiser like Marcus Tully. The one, an object of awful respect after

“ That dishonest victory At Charonea, fatal to liberty," is chosen to make the funeral oration over the bones of those who fell in consequence of his policy;* the other, with ill disguised contempt, is saluted with the title of Imperator at the Issus." It was in concentrated passion that the Greek excelled the Roman. I The “Father of his Country” was always playing falsetto, acting a part, and sometimes a very mean one; — he showed a truckling spirit which,

“ Non homines, non Di, non concessere columnæ.” It is not hard to recognise a similar distinction between the temperaments and writings and their results of the two other lights of their own age, who were however contemporaries, and flourished (comparatively speaking) the other day. What machine did the energetic mind of Luther set in motion! a machine, so

* Plutarch's Life of Demosthenes. + Cic. Epist. ad M. Cælius.

# Passages in Cicero's Orations against Catiline, Verres, and Antony, and for Milo, are vehement enough, but peculiar circumstances contributed to animate the orator's style. See in Brut. His 'genius without a doubt inclined to the ornamental, rather than the impassioned.

& Vide Ep. Fam. viii. 6–11. 15.... Ad Att. vi. 6 .... De clar. Orator 1.

to speak, before our eyes even unto this hour, and whose ultimate consequences are not even latent in the womb of Time. The truths which had been outraged, he reproclaimed in the spirit of outraged truth, at the behest of his conscience, and in the service of the God who cannot lie. He did his duty, come good come evil! and made no question on which side the preponderance would be: “Talk not to me,” he exclaimed, “of scandal and offence. Need breaks through stone walls, and recks not of scandal: it is my duty to spare weak consciences as far as it may be done without the hazard of my soul. Where not, I must take counsel for my soul, though half of the whole world should be scandalized thereby." Such was the tone, by the adoption of which the German “Son of Thunder" moulded not only his own but future ages.

And what a contrast does he present in this respect to his immediate pioneer and contemporary. Erasmus, who might be styled the morning star of the Reformation, was an infinitely more elegant scholar than the heroic Luther, and a man of as consummate genius; but however regarded in his own time by the polite and lettered world, he is at this day only known by his writings to a few, since he left neither impress on his age nor consecution to posterity. To what cause shall we attribute this? To his not daring to follow out his ideasto his stopping short, to his temporizing, to his partaking more of the characteristics of Atticus than of Cato,—to his NOT BEING ENOUGH IN EARNEST.

To come down even to the days of our fathers : and here, deprecating all unfair constructions—repudiating every motive save what honour, honesty and religion supply, we must speak plainly out; herein let aught that may savour of offence be imputed to our love. What was it then, we ask, that touched with the living coal from God's altar the mouth of Wesley? What was it that denuded in those days the churches and chapels of the Establishment, whilst the plains and the sides of the hills were thronged row above row with gasping tens of thousands, men, women and children? What was it that made the eloquence of that Methodist irresistible over the multitude ? What was it that flashed like lightning on the close and stagnant consciences of his auditory? What was it that insinuated itself into their hearts, until the most obdurate were moved to tears and penitence? What was it that heaped coals of fire, as it were, upon their heads, until the ore of the most stubborn did melt? Nothing, but single-hearted zeal, a straightforward purpose, and an earnestness which were followed by the most beneficial effects.

It was the deep conviction of the awful responsibility attached to the christian ministration, coupled with an unweariable

* Vide Erasm. Epist. lib. vi.

energy, a never-relaxing charity, and that yearning desire for the eonversion of the meanest creature whom Christ perished to save, which amounted to faith in his success; it was all this, that filled the mouth of John Wesley with the verba ardentia, that ran electrically from soul to soul, till the whole congregation of sinful human beings lit up into one blaze of devotion.

Wesley was truly energetic. He was zealous, and went to work like a giant rejoicing in his strength. He felt that his vocation was of the Holy Ghost; and looking to what he indeed accomplished—to the wonderful conversions that, by his fervid appeals to the heart, he every where wrought, we must admit, that the good which he effected was considerable. He went forth to meet the enemy at the gate, or rather, like the Carthaginian, he carried the war into his territory. He made no league with sin and infidelity. He spake as from a throne, and stood up against Satan ; and standing on the confines of two worlds, he shook the one with the thunders of the other.

We make no apology for this mention of Wesley. We introduce him as having had a godly zeal for the cause which he embraced; and be it remembered that he once lived within the penetralia of the temple. Would to God that the priests and deacons of the Church could catch somewhat of his zeal! We

that we wish the Clergy of the Establishment to assume the power of ordaining ministers—to promote a division in the Church-TO BE GUILTY OF THE SIN OF SCHISM. Let not, for an instant, such a dreadful construction be put upon our words. We would guard against the most trifling approach to such a catastrophe. Methodism was not originally devised by its founder as a separation from the Church. It was intended as an auxiliary; but Wesley set a power in motion which he could neither stop nor control. Principle was sacrificed to an imaginary urgent expediency. “In spite of solemn protestation from the Church Methodists, farther and farther separations were sanctioned; bitter invectives were connived at; till at length, by the daring assumption of the power of ordaining ministers, though not without much tampering with conscience, a separate system was, in the year 1784, established."* How applicable would be a parody of the above extract to our present administration! There is, however, this important distinction ;-that we hope and trust, and pray God, and can see no reason whatsoever contrariwise, that the Wesleyan sect will return into the bosom of Mother Church, and again hold the faith, and “ keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph. iv. 1, 3.) They may rest assured that they will be welcomed with open arms. She would "bring the fatted calf and kill it,” for it would be “ meet that we should make merry and be glad.

do not say

* The Church of England compared with Wesleyan Methodism.

Let it not be supposed from what we have said, that we give the slightest sanction to Methodism; but we are free to confess, it would be most grateful to us, if the clergy would only introduce the fervour of Methodism into the pulpits of the church of England.

“ Boldness of application,” says the Bishop of Winchester, “ will characterise the preacher who follows in the spirit of his Master's teaching." Christ's opponents bore witness to his boldness.—" We know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man; for thou regardest not the person of men."* He was the lion of the tribe of Judah, which “ turned not away for any."+ His apostles did not scruple to hold up men in their true characters with similar boldness. They caution the converts against "grievous wolves," I “ dogs,"$" deceitful workers."|| The indignant address of St. Paul to Elymas is conceived in the same tone of strong direct reprehension. Like him of whom it is written in praise, that “he was not moved with the presence of any prince, neither could any bring him into subjection." "He stood up as fire, and his word burnt like a lamp."** A spirit of love is especially needed in dealing reproof. It The wound must be inflicted tenderly, as a father chastens his child. Still there must be truth in this love, as well as love in the truth. There must be a boldness of declaration. There must be the bearing of an open testimony, without respect of persons, and whether men will hear or whether they will forbear, that “ the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience."1 The preacher is the delegate of Christ to “testify of the world that the works thereof are evil."88 The world will, perhaps, hate him for his faithfulness, and the biography of christian ministers furnishes many an affecting evidence of the prevalence of this hatred; but it hated Christ before it hated them, for the self-same cause. If his duty call

upon him to be bold in reproof, he must not shrink from it on account of the consequences. Christ did not see fit to pre

* Matt. xxii. 16. † Prov. xxx. 30. I Acts xx. 29. § Phil, iii. 2.

Il 2 Cor. xi. 13. | Acts xiii. 9, 10. Compare with this Polycarp's answer to Marcion's appeal :-"Polycarp, own us." “I do own thee-to be the first-born of Satan."

** Ecclus. xlviii. 1, 12. tt Does any young minister, who may read this account, wish to ask, how this peace and prosperity was produced ? I can tell him, that it was effected by the blessing of God upon the practice of his own rule—"Speaking the truth in love.”Cecil's Life of Cadogan. ** Col. iii. 6.

$8 John vii. 7.

vent the enmity of the world from following his own reproofs ; and has thus forewarned his pastors what to expect, and taught them how to act.

Again, there must be a trial of various modes of promoting self-application and examination. No experiment must be neglected. The use of one motive need not supersede that of another. Christ employed very different means at different times for this purpose. Sometimes he had recourse to topics drawn peculiarly from evangelical truths ;* sometimes from the obligations of the law. Sometimes he reserved his hard sayings for the initiated, as it were; and told his disciples apart from the multitude what the people at large were not yet able to receive. I Sometimes he did not scruple to bring forward some of the highest doctrines of the gospel before auditories composed of a promiscuous assemblage of people. ||

Different modes of treatment also occur in our Lord's ministry, according to the circumstances of the persons. When the tempter asked a sign-“ If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down,” our Lord refused it. S On two occasions when the Pharisees asked a sign, it was denied them with a reproof. But when Peter in the simplicity of a weak faith, made a similar request—" Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water"—the prayer was granted.

Here then will be the scope for the preacher's judgment. The avenues are not the same to every heart; and in proportion to his knowledge of human nature, will be his success in fitting his arrow to the string. The ways are various; the end is the same—the promotion of a spirit of self-application. “For those who have not informed their minds by education, the plainest way is certainly the best and hardest, provided it be not flat and dry, and incoherent or desultory, going from one point to another, without pursuing any particular point home to practice, and applying it to the consciences of the hearers. And give me leave to tell you, that mere general discourses have commonly little effect on the people's mind; if any thing moves them, it is particular application, as to such things which their consciences are concerned in.”++ To the same


* John vi. 37. * Matt. v. 17-47; xix. 16–21. Luke xvii. 10.

Mark iv. 10-12, 33, 34. || For instance, predestination and election, John vi. 24-65, the universality of the offer of the gospel without respect of persons, Matt. xi. 28—30; John vii. 37—the promises assured to faith in opposition to the covenant of works, John vi. 28, 29. $ Matt. iv. 6, 7.

Matt. xii. 38—40; xvi. 1—4. ** Matt. xiv. 28. ++ Bishop Stillingfleet on the Duties and Rights of the Parochial Clergy. Works, vol. iii. p. 627.

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