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derness and partiality of friendship might overlook, or scruple to communicate. Several sheets having been transmitted to Mr. John (an honour of which he soon showed himself quite unworthy), he altered, added, and retrenched, with such insolence and wantonness of dictatorial authority, as disgusted even the modest and candid Mr. Hervey. The consequence was, Mr. Wesley lost his supervisorship, and in return, sat himself to depreciate the performance be was not allowed to spoil.
By what spirit this gentleman and his deputies are guided in their discussion of controverted subjects, shall appear, from a specimen of the horrible
aspersions which, in “ The Church vindicated from Predestination," they venture to heap on the Almighty himself. The recital makes me tremble
; the perusal must shock every reader, who is not steeled to all reverence for the Supreme Being. May the review cause the daring and unhappy writers to fall down, as in the dust, at the footstool of insulted Deity! Wesley and Sellon are not afraid to declare, that, on the hypothesis of divine decrees, the justice of God is “ no better than the tyranny of Tiberius (h).” That God himself is “ little better than Moloch (i).”“A cruel, unwise, unjust, arbitrary, and self-willed tyrant (k).”-“A being void of wisdom, justice, mercy, holiness, and truth (1).”-A devil, yea, worse than the devil (m).” Did the exorbitancies of the ancient ranters, or the impieties of any modern blasphemers, ever come up to this ? Surely, if such methodists should finally be converted and saved, we can need no stronger proof that grace is infinitely free, and its operation absolutely invincible! Observe, reader, that these are also the very men who are so abandoned to all sense of shame, as to charge me with blasphemy,
(1) Page 3
(i) Page 45.
(k) Page 59. 71.
for asserting, with scripture, that God worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will; and that whatever God wills, is right.
We bave seen their portrait of the great and blessed God: let us next hear Mr. Sellon's account of his own self; this he has tacked to the fagend of his work. Be it my humble office, to rescue so brilliant a passage from the ignominy of its present situation, and place it (where it deserves to stand) in the front.
“ As to myself,” says the Arminian, “I make no scruple to tell you, I am what some call an exotic; one (n) destitute of the honour of an academical education. The highest degree I lay claim to, is that of a poor fellow of Jesus College, in the university of Christianity (0).”
Never, surely, till now, did such low, whining cant ooze from the pen of meanness!
And is the pretended vindicator of a national church dwindled by his own confession into an exotic? That his doctrines are exotic, or foreign and far-fetched, I always knew; but I was, hitherto, not botanist enough to ascertain the exoticism of the man. I hope, in his next vindication, he will inform us, to what class of exotic plants he belongs, and whether himself be not as Dutch as his principles.
He adds, that he never had an “ academical education ;" I believe him; nor is he in any danger of being mistaken for a man of learning. He will never frighten his brother enthusiasts with that horrible bugbear (so alarming to most fanatics)
(n) And true enough it is. Mr: Sellon is, in very deed, destitute of the said honour. His education was as illiberal as are his principles : he was, at his first setting out in life, a low mechanic; he then got himself enrolled on the list of Mr. Wesley's lay-preachers ; he next insinuated himself into the favour of a certain person of distinction, who (not being indued with the gift of foresight) procured bim admission into holy orders: and thus he came to wear prunella.
(6) Page 126. VOL. I.
called human literature. He does not so much as know the difference between a degree and a fellowship: “ The highest degree I lay claim to,” says this pigmy on stilts, " is that of a poor fellow, &c." You should have said, of the Foundery college, in Moorfields, whereof Mr. John Wesley is president, and wherein Thomas Olivers the preaching shoemender hath taken his degree in ignorance : that, Mr. Sellon, is the college to which you belong: for into what you cantingly style the “University of Christianity,” it does not appear that you are so much as entered. In proof of this, I appeal to your preceptor, Mr. Wesley himself; and to your fellow-pupils, his followers. Your own Arminian friends, for whom you falsify through thick and thin, will not acknowledge you for a believer (p). However, as you seem to insist on passing for “ a poor fellow,” I shall, in the following sheets, attentively consider what the poor fellow has to say against the doctrines of the church of England.
One who has drawn so blasphemous a character of God, and who has, moreover, given the public so contemptible a sketch of himself, can hardly be thought likely to draw a very favourable account of his opponents. His representation of me, in particular, is so very curious, and composed of such contradictory ingredients, that I must, for the reader's amusement, submit it to his view. I had before been delineated, by an Arminian helpmeet of Mr. Wesley's, as “sitting in my easy chair, and enjoying all the comforts of life.” One would think, that the see of Durham had been transferred to Broad-Hembury, and that the Devonshire Vicar was warmly enrobed in lawn and black satin. So much for my attitude and enjoyments; next for my titles; these Mr. Sellon enumerates. I am, it seems,
(P) See the Gospel Magazine, for March, 1771, p. 135.
“ A Flaming Calvinist (1).
“ A Persecutor, possessing the same butcherly spirit that was in bishop Gardiner; yea, ten times more (u).
“ A Perfectionist (a).
“ A malapert Boy, severely scratching and claw. ing with venomous nails (y).
“ A Papist (2)
“ The greatest Bigot that ever existed, without one grain of candour, benevolence, forbearance, moderation, good-will, or charity (c).
“A wild Beast of impatience and lion-like fury (d).
" À Materialist (e);” that is, an Atheist.
A goodly string of appellations! and not a little extraordinary, that they should all centre in one and the same man! Being so uncommon a person myself, my writings too must be something singular. Take a description of them in the words of the said Sellon : " I find sophistry, fallacy, false insinuation, raillery, perversion of scripture and the church articles, self-contradiction, self-sufficiency, haughtiness, pride and vanity, glaring in almost every page (f).”
Thus, enthroned in my easy chair, dignified with titles, and accurately developed as a writer, I only want a suitable address, to render my magnificence complete; and who so well qualified to prepare it, as the eloquent Mr. Sellon ? Lo, he attends; and,
(s) Page 17, 18.
respectfully advancing, pays me the following compliments : “ Unhappily daring, and unpardonably bold, thy tongue imagineth wickedness, and with lies thou cuttest like a sharp razor. Thou hast loved unrighteousness more than goodness ;, and to talk of lies more than righteousness. Thou hast loved to speak all words that may do hurt, O thou false tongue (9).” Such are the candour and politeness of these Methodists; and such are the arguments, by which they would persuade us, that Arminianism is the religion of the church of England.
These are the men that set up for “universal love;" who call one another by the cant names of “ precious believers," “ most excellent souls," “charming children of God,” “sweet Christians, " and “ the clean-hearted.” If their hearts are no cleaner than their mouths, they have little reason to value themselves on their “sinless perfection.”
These are they who seek to bottom election on faith and goodness foreseen; of which foreseen goodness, humility and benevolence, meekness and forbearance, are, I suppose, some of the ingredients. Woe be to those“ sweet Christians," if their election has no better foundation than their “sweet" tempers, words, and works.
And why all this torrent of abuse? The plain truth is this : I detected Mr. Wesley's forgeries, and chastised the forger. Hinc ille lacrymæ. Hence the outcries of John himself, together with those of Thomas Olivers and Walter Sellon. The camp of the Philistines gave a scream, when they saw the levelled stone penetrate the brass of their Goliath's forehead: but of all the tribe, none screamed so loud as the frighted Walter; of whose talent at screaming, a specimen has been exhibited to the reader. Let me whisper a friendly hint to this notable screamer. If you wish your scurrilities to
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