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Other attacks were made upon Methodism, in 1760, though 1760 none so vulgar as Foote's. One of these was "A Friendly Age 57 and Compassionate Address to all serious and well disposed Methodists; in which their principal Errors concerning the doctrine of the new birth, their election, and the security of their salvation, and their notion of the community of Christian men's goods, are largely displayed and represented. By Alexander Jephson, A.B., rector of the parish of Craike, in the county of Durham." Svo, 80 pages. Mr. Jephson tells the Methodists, that they have “fallen into fatal and dangerous errors, which may be of pernicious consequence to them both in this life and the next." He affirms that, "when any persons are duly baptized into the Church, there is no doubt but that all their sins are immediately forgiven, and a new principle of piety and virtue is directly instilled into their minds by the grace of God's Holy Spirit.” He exhorts the Methodists not to forsake the pastors of the Church of England, by giving up themselves " to the direction of guides who have nothing to recommend them, but vain and idle pretences to inspiration, and intimate conversations with God, and such immediate and powerful effects of their preaching as have caused, in some of their hearers, the most dreadful shriekings and groanings, convulsions and agitations." Methodist itinerants are described as “an enthusiastical set of preachers, who are wandering up and down, through the whole nation, to destroy and unsettle all the reasonable notions of religion, and to throw men into the utmost distraction and confusion.” These are fair cullings from Mr. Jephson's " friendly and compassionate address.” Wesley says concerning it: "the tract is more considerable for its bulk, than for its matter, being little more than a dull repetition of what was published some years ago in “The Enthusiasm of the Methodists and Papists Compared.'”

Another hostile publication was, “A Genuine Letter from a Methodist Preacher, in the country, to Laurence Sterne, M.A., prebendary of York. 1760.” 8vo, 22 pages. The letter pretends to rebuke Sterne for writing “Tristram Shandy," and says the prebend has “studied plays more than the

· Lloyd's Evening Post, Nov. 24, 1760.



1760 word of God, and takes his text generally from the writings Age 57

of Shakspeare" rather than from the writings of the apostles. Altogether, it was a meaningless and profane performance, whose only object seems to have been to create a laugh.

Another publication, belonging to the same year, was, A Vindication of the Seventeenth Article of the Church of England, from the Aspersions cast on it in a Sermon lately published by Mr. John Wesley. By John Oulton.” 8vo, 55 pages. This was intended to be a refutation of Wesley's sermon on free grace, preached from Romans viii. 32, and deserves no further notice.

Another was entitled, “The Principles and Practices of the Methodists considered, in some Letters to the Leaders of that Sect." Svo, 78 pages. The writer, who signed himself “Academicus," was a man of mark, the Rev. John Green, D.D.,' born at Beverley about 1706; a sizar in St. John's college, Cambridge; then an usher in a school at Lichfield; then domestic chaplain of the Duke of Somerset ; then rector of Borough Green ; then regius professor of divinity, and one of his majesty's chaplains; then, in 1756, dean of Lincoln ; and, in 1764, bishop of Lincoln ; a liberal prelate,--the only one who voted for the bill for the relief of protestant Dissenters; and who died suddenly, at Bath, in 1779. The pamphlet of Dr. Green is addressed to Mr. Berridge, of Everton. The author speaks of Berridge's “graceless fraternity”; and warns him against being “ led away by the vain presumption of extraordinary illuminations,” and against “contracting one of the most dangerous and deceitful of all religious maladies, the tumour of spiritual pride.” He tells him, that "he makes lofty pretensions, and assumes confident airs to amuse the vulgar." He speaks of "the mysteries of Methodism, its conceits and inadvertencies, its foibles and failings, being cruelly exposed to the laughter of the incredulous, and the scoff of the profane." He says, “ elocution from a stool, or vociferation from a hillock, will act with much more effect, upon the multitude, than any kind of sober instruction given from that old fashioned eminence, the pulpit"; and describes, as the result

Nichols' Literary Anecdotes, vol. viii., p. 229; and Gentleman's Magazine, 1761, p. 286.

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of “Methodistical oratory, a number of groaners, sighers, 1760 tumblers, and convulsionists, breaking out into a dreadful Age 57 concert of screams, howlings, and lamentations."

In succession, Whitefield, Wesley, Hervey, Zinzendorf, and others come under the writer's lash. The "fraternity

The “fraternity” are charged with “dealing in all the little tricks of calumny and misrepresentation"; with endeavouring “to raise their own reputation by attempts to undermine that of others”; with "playing the droll, and enlivening their popular harangues with occasional diversions, and strokes of humour"; and with having "recourse to obscure and mystical language, which none but the elect can understand.”

Dr. Green was not content with this priestly onslaught. Immediately after, he published a second pamphlet of seventyfour pages, with the same title, but addressed, in this instance, to Whitefield, who is, not too politely, reminded of his “blue apron and snuffers at the Bell inn, in Gloucester"; and is told, that his "pretensions are weakly supported, though set off with so much pomp of expression,- like some aqueous plants, which spread a broad and stately leaf on the surface of the water, while the fibre, on which they depend for their support, is slenderer than a thread.” His Journal is called, “that curious repository of religious anecdotes,—that profound repertory of private reflections, exhibiting a medley of seeming pride and affected lowliness, of immoderate conceit and excessive humility.” These must serve as samples. Dr. Green, bishop of Lincoln, was an able man, and a vigorous writer ; but he might have employed his learning and his talents to better purpose than in bantering the poor Methodists. On receiving his pamphlet, Wesley wrote: “in many things, I wholly agree with him ; but there is a bitterness in him, which I should not have expected in a gentleman and a scholar."

Another unfriendly pamphlet, issued in 1760, was entitled, “A Fragment of the true Religion. Being the substance of two Letters from a Methodist Preacher in Cambridgeshire, to a Clergyman in Nottinghamshire.” 8vo, 25 pages. The “Methodist Preacher” was Berridge of Everton, and the

· Lloya"s Evening Post, Nov. 24, 1760.

1760 first letter was one in which Berridge gave an account of his Age :y conversion and subsequent course of action ; and was in

tended, by its writer, to be strictly private and confidential. The clergyman, however, to whom it was addressed, dishonourably allowed copies to be taken and circulated ; and, moreover, commenced railing against the man who had written to him as a friend. Upon this, Berridge wrote to him a second letter, remonstrating with him on account of his treacherous behaviour; and, this also being copied and circulated, both the letters were surreptitiously published, with a scurrilous introduction, dated, “Grantham, February 2, 1760," and signed “Faith Workless."

In his second letter, Berridge, with righteous indignation, remarks:

You charge me with being a Moravian. Credulous mortal! Why do you not charge me with being a murderer? You have just as much reason to call me one as the other. If you had lived in this neighbourhood, you would have known that I am utterly detested and continually reviled by the Moravians. And no wonder ; for I warn all my hearers against them, both in public and private. Nay, I have been to Bedford, where there is a nest of them, to bear a preaching testimony against their corrupt principles and practices. However, since you are determined to call me a Moravian, and Mr. Wheeler is pleased to call me a madman, I think myself obliged to come down into the country, as soon as I can, to convince my friends, and your neighbours, that I am neither the one nor the other. I shall go round the neighbourhood, and preach twice a day. If your brethren will allow me the use of their pulpits, they shall have my thanks : if they will not, the fields are open, and I shall take a mountain for my pulpit, and the heavens for my sounding board. My blessed Master has set me the example; and, I trust, I shall neither be ashamed nor afraid to tread in His steps.”

Brave old Berridge! and yet, in the introduction to this very pamphlet, the Everton vicar is represented as “traveling round the country, attended by several idle sluts, who will neither mend his clothes nor wash his linen,” the result being that he had “preached many a discourse when he was sadly out at the elbows, and when his shirts were almost as black as the chimney."

Another infamous production of the year 1760 must be noticed,-an octavo pamphlet of forty-eight pages, with the title, “ The Crooked Disciple's Remarks upon the Blind Guide's

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Method of Preaching for some years; being a collection of 1760 the principal words, sayings, phraseology, rhapsodies, hyper- Age 57 boles, parables, and miscellaneous incongruities of the sacred and profane, commonly, repeatedly, and peculiarly made use of by the Reverend Dr. Squintum, delivered by him viva voce, ex cathedra, at Tottenham Court, Moorfields, etc. A work never before attempted; taken verbatim from a constant attendance. By the learned Mr. John Harman, Regulator of Enthusiasts.” John Harman was a whimsical watchmaker, who was at the pains of taking down a number of Whitefield's peculiarities, in shorthand. The pamphlet which bears his name is one of the basest, coarsest, and most profane, published in the early days of Methodism. It professes to give a prayer and a sermon by Whitefield, with Whitefield's action and intonation, and the people's responses; and finishes with a postscript, informing the reader, that Whitefield's “hummers, sighers, and weepers are hireling hypocrites, at two shillings and sixpence per week, and are the approbatives to his doctrine."

Besides the above pamphlets, all published in England, there was another, larger than any yet mentioned, which was published in Ireland, in 1760, with the title, “ Montanus Redivivus; or Montanism Revived, in the Principles and Discipline of the Methodists (commonly called Swaddlers) : Being the substance of a sermon upon i John iv. 1, preached in the parish church of Hollymount, in the Diocese of Tuam, in the year 1756. To which are added several letters, which passed between the Rev. John Wesley and the Author. Also an Appendix. By the Rev. Mr. James Clark, a Presbyter of the Diocese of Tuam.” 8vo, 100 pages.

In this Irish effusion, the Methodists are described as "a set of enthusiastic pharisees in practice, but perfect latitudinarians in principle; quite indifferent as to any form of church government, whether presbyterian, independent, or episcopal, and looking upon the latter in no other light than that of some human law or constitution, subject to be changed at pleasure.” In accordance with this, they had “acted in a barefaced defiance to the authority and jurisdiction of the

1 Monthly Review, 1761, p. 473.

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