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should become so scrupulous and over-righteous, as to doubt if it be not an heinous sin to serve a master whose numerous avocations may sometimes require that he should be inaccessible to visitors when actually at home*? Such is the effect of superiors setting an infamous immoral example to their dependants and inferiors; it either renders them incurably wicked, or transforms them into Methodists+.
From this imperfect but impartial view of the rapid growth of Methodism, it will appear, this pernicious
* "A gentleman's servant, who has left a good place because he was ordered to deny his master when actually at home, wishes something on this subject may be introduced into this work, that persons who are in the habit of denying themselves in the above manner may be convinced of its evil."-See Evangelical Magazine, p. 12.
"Persons of profligate lives and libertine sentiments are wont to take up with such delusions. When they are touched with a sense of guilt, their reason is so hurried and distracted, that they know not which way to turn, but are apt (like people on some great loss, flying to the conjurer or wizard) to betake themselves to some fallacious expedients, unsafe security, false doctrine, or quack remedy, of a mouth that speaketh great things, neglecting every regular method. Thus it is no uncommon thing for profligates and libertines, in the article of danger, to catch hold on the passport of Popery or Methodism, which probably is a device of satan to beguile them; or, because they have not received the love of truth,' (2 Thes. chap. i. v. 9.) God may permit a strong delusion that they should believe a lie."-See Enthusiasm of Methodists and Papists compared, Vol. II. p. 157.
heresy has taken such deep root, that its spreading branches even threaten to overshadow the established church: cottages, huts, woods, moors, and even mines, have been visited by the proselytizing activity of its professors*. In the army and navy+ they have insinuated their doctrines with most unexampled success; and as it is alike indifferent to them whether they accomplish the downfall of our establishment by open violence, or secret stratagem, provided it be accomplished, it is a part of their policy, we understand, to have a large fund for the purchase of livings, to which ministers of their own persuasion are of course always presented. Many wise and pious divines are of opinion, that every sect of christians have their use; inasmuch as, by their means, each important religious truth has the advantage of being set in a full light by some party or other: but surely the propriety of that opinion cannot be admitted respecting a sect
* In delineating the particular doctrines of "these self-sent apostles," and in exposing their ambitious hopes, the Bishop of Bangor has indeed justly remarked, that "proselytism, not doctrine, is their great object.” P. 19. See the Charge of this highly esteemed and truly learned Prelate to his Diocese, in 1808.
+ For their activity in these two departments of the state, see the Methodist and Evangelical Magazines.
which unceasingly labours to blacken and discredit all those who do not adopt its tenets; which, wretchedly destitute of intellectual culture, requires its votaries to be hovering on the precipice of insanity before they can be rightly prepared to come to the New Birth; a sect which, without restraint and without remorse, abuses the liberal indulgence of our church, by professing to belong to it, while it acts in open defiance to all established rules; and lastly, which has impiously dared to confine the future rewards of true piety solely to its own followers.
Of such a sect we shall not be afraid of making this concluding remark, (for never can it become a sincere member of the establishment to be ashamed of publicly contending for orthodoxy from the apprehension of being stigmatized as a bigot,) that while we readily allow the Methodists to be of the most respectable reputations in private society,-as a body, their close hypocricy and fraud, their violent and malignant zeal, their arrogant pretensions to the true character of primitive christians, and their limited
* St. Paul assures us, that Schism is a very dangerous sin; and as the Methodists seem to entertain a peculiar veneration for that apostle, we may suppose this to be the reason why they still profess to be within the pale of the establishment.
notions* of the mercy of the Almighty, render them the objects of the pity and contempt of every man of liberal education and understanding.
* It was from a just dislike to the narrow tenets of Acesius, that the emperor Constantine desired him to take a ladder, and get up to Heaven by himself. The ladder of this bishop, we will venture to add, has been more borrowed by the Methodists, than by any other christian
ON THE CHARACTER OF THE FINE GENTLEMAN OF THE PRESENT DAY.
IT is worthy of remark, that those who have carried their speculations to the changes of successive ages in manners, dress, and furniture, are prodigal in their censures against the preceding generations in these several particulars: this practice, however, is perhaps one of those that would be more "honoured in the breach than in the observance," notwithstanding the writers of the present day have evinced a most laudable degree of perseverance in praising their own times, and despising those of their fore-fathers: for though any one, after surveying the condition of a savage, may thank that Providence which cast his birth in a period of civilization, yet, for ought we can tell, the formal bow is not a fitter object of derision than the vulgar nod; nor does it appear less difficult to associate the ideas of elegance and convenience to a velvet suit than a plain broad cloth, or Gothic to Egyptian chairs and footstools.