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INQUIRIES OF A WESLEYAN. gifts, was an unauthorised and haz(Concluded faom page 508.)
ardous procedure ; and that an in
crease of gifts and talents necessary RECAPITULATION.
for the church's edification, could not In a former part of this treatise we possibly accrue from such a change. have shown the importance of reli- Thus have we asserted the ancient gious institutions, and we have en liberty* of the Christian church. deavoured to show the fallacy of what “ One in heaven is your Master, all is too commonly stated and believed, ye are brethren;" and the meanest that the Scriptures have said nothing individual in the church has an equal on the subject that is clear and deter- right to exercise his talent according minate, but left the matter to the to the amount that God has given judgment, caprice, or interest of men, him, as its highest dignitary. The for settlement and regulation. On man with two talents, and even he the contrary, we trust we have shown with one, are as really responsible for that the New Testament furnishes their proper and vigorous exercise, as much and important information on he that possesses five; and the church, every department of Christian insti- while it requires the exercise of the tutions—that it lays down great prin- latter, is bound to allow of opportuciples, springing from the very roots nity for the exercise of ihe former. of the Christian system - principles There are important circumstances which no church can contravene with- connected with modern times, which out placing itself in a most doubtful render them even a more favorable and hazardous position, but which
* Sismondi has remarked that antiquity does have been very little regarded in the not furnish a single example of the representaformation of the prevailing institu- tive form of government. So far as civil aftions of modern Christianity.
fairs are concerned, the observation is strictly We have seen from that authority fact originated with, Christianity. In the
accurate. But the principle is as old, and in how God communicates to the church election of the first seven deacons, the apostles gifts in great extent and diversity, did not appoint them, but called upon the not upon a single individual in a brethren to choose individuals for that office. church, but on the church at large, a
In all other appointments to office referred to
in the New Testament, it was required that the measure being given “ to every man
individuals should be of good report, should to profit withal" that the object for really possess the confidence and esteem of the which these gifts is given, is the “work brethren, and in case of a difference in the choice of the ministry,
,” 6 the edification of it was settled by the suffrage of the whole the body of Christ”—that the work of church. After their election they exercised a
real authority, and those who elected them the ministry thus plainly devolves, yielded a real obedience-a deference the more not on a single individual in a church, hearty and complete on account of the confibut on the church at large, and more dence felt in their integrity and character. or less on the various members of Still it was not in any single degree despotic. which that church is composed, ac
Their duty was to enforce the laws of the Chris
tian institution : to these laws they were themcording to the measure of ability which selves answerable, and they were liable not only God has given them.
to deposition, but to excision from the ChrisWe have seen that the institutions tian community in case of violation of thein. of the original church allowed and A thousand years after the Christian era, this encouraged the exercise of these va- practice existed of electing officers in the Chris
tian church, as is well known to every one at rious gifts — that their exercise con- all acquainted with church history. That John stituted a system of variety, efficiency, Wesley should have so completely excluded and power, to which modern times this great and beautiful principle from his insti can furnish no parallel—that the in- tutions
, must be considered as indicating a de
ficiency in intelligence, liberality, and capacity stitution of an individual minister in for providing, at least permanently, for the the place of the free exercise of these wants of modern society.
stage for the application of these whatever. Therefore, if we make principles than the apostolical. The the support of forms, and ordinances, establishment of civil freedom, the and routine of worship, the principal existence of the press, and the wide or exclusive object of our institutions diffusion of letters and education, are and exertions, then is the essential undoubted and invaluable advantages nature of Christianity misunderstood, to the modern, over the ancient Chris- its entire fabric is inverted, its grand tianity.
design defeated, and formalism asSome, there are, who will entertain sumes the position, superseding its nafears for the consequences that may tural and vital action. But when we arise from this emancipation of hu- see the Apostle of the Gentiles, after man energy To such we would re- stating the strongest considerations ply in the words of the great Milton, that could be advanced in favor of “ Methinks I see in my mind a noble such a course, nevertheless firmly and and puissant nation, rousing herself unhesitatingly avow his determination as a strong man after sleep, and sha- to act on no such principle—and when king her invincible locks. Methinks taking his farewell of the elders of the I see her as an eagle renewing her Ephesian church at Miletus, after remighty youth, and kindling her un- ferring to his own example in this dazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam, particular, recommend it to their imipurging and unscaling her disabused tation in these words, “ I have showsight at the fountain itself of heavenly ed you all things, how that so laborradiance. While the whole noise of ing ye ought to support the weak, and timorous and flocking birds, with those to remember the words of the Lord also that love the twilight, flutter Jesus, that it is more blessed to give about amazed at what she means, than to receive ;"--and when we conand in their envious gabble would sider that the elders (Presbuteroi) prognosticate a year of sects and to whom these words were addressed, schisms."
were the individuals from whom our We next proceeded to investigate present regular ministers alike derive the subject of the church's funds, their origin and their authority-we their mode of collection, and the pur- have no hesitation in avowing our poses to which they were originally conviction, that the Scriptures speak applied, noticing especially the promi- on this subject with no uncertain nence given to works of charity, sound, and that a case is made out mercy, and benevolence; and suppo- worthy of the most solemn considerasing the apostolical conclave had, in tion on the part of every minister, and their extraordinary work and circum- the Christian world at large. stances, unanimously desisted from These obstructions to Christian every personal endeavour for their progress being removed, its power of own maintenance, we still should action would be increased a hundred have hesitated in drawing the conclu- fold, and it would find itself in a posion that every minister of the word sition to cope, on a scale the most was authorized to do the same. We extensive, with the evil and suffering still would claim the consideration of which the world contains, and a great the essential nature of Christianity, amelioration of the entire condition of and more especially of the great man would be its certain result. Such Scripture principle, that God “de- a work would awaken the sympathies, sires mercy, and not sacrifice”—that remove the indifference, kindle the inHe takes a greater interest, and views terest, answer the objections, and gain with a higher approbation, the work the approbation and adhesion of uniand action of mercy and love, than versal man. Such a work, no prejuany routine of ordinance or worship 'dice, no power of man could long successfully oppose ; and the action of a treatise, forwarded to us by our brother, of love would be the precursor of its to be published according as we might deem universal reign and establishment in best. It being impossible to insert the whole the earth. The word and mystery of in one or two numbers, without deferring other God, with every sublime and neces- interesting articles, and suppressing important sary truth that it contains, recom
items of news, we carefully read the manusmended by its favor, and irradiated cript, divided it into sections, and took the by its light, will enter in its train the liberty at the same time of furnishing the headhearts which God has thus opened for ing to each. These are now concluded. They its reception ; and the church itself, have proved a source of encouragement and its animosities removed and its divi- edification to our readers, embodying, as they sions healed by this uniting, reconci- unquestionably do, considerable energy and
correct thought; and at the same time exhibit, ling principle, will behold with joy,
in some measure,
progress which mind is gathered into one fold, the children of God that have long been scattered making towards understanding and developing abroad.
pure Christianity. The writer, in a private While we would not enter into the the manner in which the treatise, thus divided,
note, has expressed his great satisfaction with rage for great talent that has prevail- has been presented to our readers. We may, ed in the
church for ages, considering therefore, be allowed to express a hope, that the the exertions and sacrifices that have been made for obtaining it as furnish will to the government of the Son of God, his
author, having surrendered his conscience and ing the most marked illustration that
pen will not henceforth remain inactive, but the history of the world affords of the will continue to pourtray, for the good of man, principle of the fabulist, of “grasping and the glory of God, the words of truth, intelthe shadow, and losing the substance” ligence, and love. We hope to hear from him —yet are we far from fearing any again speedily. Ed. diminution of what is necessary
for the edification of the church. For, first--in the same proportion as the
FAMILY CULTURE. church shall thus manifest the love of
CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON Christ, will it be interesting in his
HOUSE.-No. XXIX. eyes, and dear unto his heart : He
Thomas. I HAVE been thinking much upon will make the earth his dwelling the age of the world since our last meeting. place, and his delights will be with Having to choose amongst three I am at a the sons of men. Second-- In pro- loss to decide. According to the Septuagint portion as he thus delights in His peo- Samaritan it is 6542. According to the Heple, will he pour out His Spirit
upon brew, 5846. them, according to His word. Third
Reuben. And I am as much perplexed with -In proportion as the Spirit is given, the common era as you are with the three ; will gifts be communicated unto men, for, according to the common Bible, I can in rich and wide diversity and abun-only make the world 3946 years old at the
Christian era. dance, and adapted to every purpose Olympas. Let us have your data. of the church's edification and pro- Reuben. Abraham was born in 2008, called gress.
in 2083; thence to the law, 430; thence to
the building of the temple, 480; thence to the Now blessed be the Lord God, the captivity, 426; captivity, 70; thence to the God of Israel, who only doeth won- Messiah, 457—in all
, 3946. I find from 1 drous things ; and blessed be His Kings vi. 1, the temple was built in the 480th glorious name for ever, and let the year from the exodus from Egypt. And we whole earth be filled with His glory. our common Bible, in the year 2513. To
are certain'that the exodus was, according to Amen and amen.
J. N. S.
which add 480, and we have 2993, to the 4th year of king Solomon,
Now all the reigns NOTE.— The articles entitled “ Inquiries of from the 4th of Solomon to the captivity are a Wesleyan,” in their original form, consisted as follow : -- Solomon, 36; Rehoboam, 17;
Abiram, 3; Asa, 41; Jehoshaphat, 25; Jeho- , this order! Birth, circumcision, dedication, ram, 5; Ahaziah, l; his mother, 6; Joash, submission to his parents, baptism, adoption, 40; Amaziah, 29; interregnum, 11; Azariah, inspiration, and temptation. What was the 51; Jotham, 16; Ahaz, 16; Hezekiah, 29; first temptation, James ? Manasseh, 55; Ammon, 2; Josiah, 31; Je- James. “ Command these stones to become hoahaz, 3 months ; Jehoiakim, 11 years—in all, loaves." 426 years and 3 months, when the captivity Olympas. Why, Susan ? commenced. This continued 70 years. Thus Susan. Because he was hungry and needed we are brought down to 3489. From the going something to eat. forth of the decree to restore and rebuild Olympas. What was the answer, William ? Jerusalem to the Messiah, 457, in all, 3946. William. The Lord quoted a passage from
Olympas. But this falls short of the time Moses which says, “Man shall not live by usually adopted as the Christian era, 54 years. bread alone, but by whatever God may appoint, We Protestants arrange the times as follows:- or by every word or precept which he may The giving of the law, as agreed on all hands, pronounce," as you sometimes explain it. was in A.m. 2513; thence to the foundation of Olympas. Wherein lay the force of this the temple, 480 years, 1 Kings vi. 1; thence temptation ? to the end of the kings, 424 years; and thence Reuben. It was addressed to him in a case to the Messiah, 584 years—in all, 4000 years. of extreme hunger; and to preserve life in any As a general view this is, according to the way is generally regarded as a duty not to be Hebrew Bible and the common text, the most neglected. correct chronology. There are some difficul. Olympas. And were the crime or error in a ties, it is true, on every view of the chronology compliance with it ? of the world that is derived from the Hebrew Thomas. It was calling upon him as a “Son text; but fewer in this than in any other of of God” to distrust the providence of his Divine which I have any knowledge.
Father, and to pervert a power which it was Our Saviour, on this representation of the presumed by the tempter he might possess. matter, was born at the close of the 4th day, Are we to suppose that Satan knew he was the or Millennium of the world, which more exactly Son of God? corresponds with the order of the creation week. Olympas. Indeed the common version would Light was created on the first day; but the indicate that Satan knew him to be one who sun, or radiating centre of the system, was not already pretended to be the Son of God, or the perfected till the fourth day. Until a more Messiah. But this seems to be a presumption apposite season, we shall reserve what yet re- upon a previous kuowledge which we have no mains on the subject of sacred chronology as right to suppose him in the possession of. compared with other systems, and proceed to There is much more against, than in favor of the temptation.
such a supposition. Satan knew well that Eliza will read the fourth chapter of Luke. distinguished persons had been called sons of
[The chapter being read, the subject of the God; and perhaps he may have designed to temptation was first propounded.]
find out his pretensions under that title. To Eliza. It was not until after the Saviour's have yielded to his temptation would not only baptism that Satan sought to turn him aside. have indicated a want of confidence in God, and
Olympas. Place in order all the items which would have misapplied a power given him for you have of the Saviour's previous history, other uses, but it would have appeared as though Reuben.
he either doubted his relation, or gave an unReuben. He was circumcised on the eighth necessary demonstration of it to gratify a vain day. He was afterwards dedicated to the curiosity on the part of the querist; or knowLord in the temple as the law enjoined in re- ing him to be à foe, would have been enference to the first born. He is next seen at couraging his advances in relation to more the age of twelve in the temple, sitting among serious matters, and therefore he promptly and the Doctors, hearing them and asking them wisely repelled it at once by a proper applicaquestions. He continues subject to his parents tion of the sacred scriptures. Is there any to the age of thirty, and then proceeds to the analogy, Thomas, between this first temptation Jordan to the Baptist John, and is immersed addressed to the second Adam and that offered by him in that river in honor of God's institu- to the first Adam in the person of his wife ? tion. Then he is publicly declared the Son of Thomas. A natural appetite and the same God by the voice of his Father speaking from appetite were embraced in the temptation adheaven. The Spirit next in a bodily form de- dressed to both. The temptation was to eat, scends upon him and takes possession of him; and to eat something prohibited. An expresand after this he is envied by Satan, who, find sion of the divine will, in the form of a positive ing him in the wilderness fasting and commun- precept, forbade the fruit to Adam the first, and ing with God for full forty days, assailed him the law of God forbids compliance with any with all his power in the form of three subtle suggestion not warranted by the licence of his and powerful temptations.
own permission. Olympas. How beautiful and instructive Reuben. I see in this also another point of excellence in the Messiah. Eve, not impelled Olympas. True, indeed, I have said that by hunger, and prohibited by a positive and ex- men are generally wont to cherish an exagpress law, did take and eat; while Jesus, im- gerated view of themselves ; to imagine that pelled by hunger, and not enjoined by a posi- they occupy a very large space in the eyes of tive law, would not eat in the mere absence of heaven and earth. This is sometimes called a full and explict licence.
vanity, sometimes self-conceit, presumption, Olympas. That is true. Still there is some- &c. It is, indeed, a generic feeling, impulse, or thing else in this matter more declarative of passion in man, from which spring many, very his divine wisdom and power. He had been many of his aberrations and follies in life. Satan declared to be the Son of God." Satan did well knew its force, and by suddenly placing not comprehend that title, and was doubtless the Saviour in a predicament that would add in the first temptation prying into it. To force to the suggestion by rendering escape have, then, only gratified this impudent from it dangerous, doubtful, and difficult any curiosity, or to have shown any desire to dis- other way, cunuingly machinated his yielding play his power, would have been yielding one and fall —not, indeed, aware as yet of all that point, and heaven's wisdom has always been was implied in the title “Son of God.” never to yield the first point. But to have The third and last temptation, William. taken the power given him for another purpose William. He showed him from a very high to support himself, would have been dis- mountain all the kingdoms of the world in a reputable to him that sent him, and would have sort of grand panorama, and offered them to argued a want of confidence in the providence him on the single condition of one act of and benignity of his Father that would have obedience. been highly disreputable; and therefore he James. Had the Devil all the kingdoms of disdained the temptation; and in allusion to the world, father ? the people of God anciently living in the wilder- Olympas. No, my son ; but he usurps them, ness upon manna, replied that man lived not and is still striving for them; and having posalone or always on bread alone, but on any session of the hearts of almost all the princes thing God himself was pleased to appoint. of the earth, he claims their empires and pos. State the second temptation, Eliza.
sessions as his own. Eliza. Satan induced the Lord to ascend to William. I do not understand how the the pinnacle of the temple, or violently seizing Devil could either see all round the world himhim, (I do not know which,) transported him self, or show any one more than half of it, profrom the wilderness to Jerusalem, and suddenly vided only it be a globe : for our books say placed him upon it, saying to him, “Cast thy- that one half of the world is always baptized self down from that place; you cannot be hurt in night, while the other is immersed in day. if you are God's Son, for he gives his angels Olympas. True, very true. Hence there charge concerning you."
are not wanting critics who say that “the Olympas. And what, Wiliam, was the re- kingdoms of the world” here spoken of are sponse ?
only the divisions of the old inheritance of the William. “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord twelve tribes, partitioned as it then was amongst thy God.”
governors, tetrarchs, and kings. The Abbe Eliza. Did you not say that it was better Mariti, in speaking of a mountain in the translated by the words, "Thou shalt not put environs of the temptation, represents it as the Lord thy God to the proof.".
overlooking the Arabian mountains, Gilead, Olympas. Certainly. The Lord indicated the land of the Ammonites, Moabites, and this view of the matter. Thou shalt not much more of the land of Canaan. Still from jeopardize your life, or Thou shalt not rush no spot on earth could any human eye distinctly into danger to prove whether the Lord will command an area of more than 120 miles in keep his word, or protect you. And is not diameter. It was, then, a representation from this a seasonable admonition to James and a very high mountain of not only what might Susan, whom I observed the other day walking have been seen, but of a great deal more beyond on the river, the ice being very thin; and to all that could be seen by the physical vision. you, William, whom I have seen fording the From all which our Saviour turned away with river, standing upon your horse, when he was infiuite disgust when he heard the price at almost swimming in a strong current. All which the lying murderer offered them to him. such things are presuming too far upon the What did he say to that, Susan ? divine protection, although they may not come Susan. “Begone Satan : for it is written, up to the full measure of putting the veracity Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and of the Lord to the test.
him only shalt thou serve.” What passion in human nature, think you, Olympas. And what did the Devil do, Reuben, was addressed in the second temptation? James ?
Reuben. If my recollection be correct, you James. He had to obey the Lord. He left, once told us that vanity, or love of applause and angels came to minister to the Saviour. and admiration, was the chief point in this Olympas. To what principle, Thomas, or to temptation.
what passion was this addressed ?