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Hostile Publications.


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" 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." 1

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

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

1760 first letter was one in which Berridge gave an account of his Age 7 conversion and subsequent course of action; and was intended, 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

Hostile Publications.


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.1 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 1 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.

1760 bishops; and, without their consent, had formed societies or Age 57 conventicles, under certain rules of discipline and government, of their own invention, appointing leaders, directors, and superintendents over them. They had set up a new ministry of their own, contrary to the ministry of the Church, committing the preaching of the word of reconciliation, and the exercise of the power of the keys, to mere laymen and mechanics; and, though they occasionally came to church and sacrament, yet they plainly enough insinuated to the world, that they only waited for a seasonable opportunity, and more able heads, to form a new church, and make a total separation." Mr. Clark proceeds to show, that, in their principles, practices, and pretences, the Methodists are the counterpart of the Montanists, "enthusiastic sectaries who make the way to heaven much more narrow and difficult than either Jesus Christ or His apostles have made it; and requiring such degrees of perfection as are not in the power of human nature, in its present state of infirmity, to attain to; the natural consequence of which is, that such as find themselves unable to arrive at such perfection grow desperate, and give themselves over to all manner of licentiousness; and such as, through a heated and enthusiastic imagination, fancy that they either actually do or can attain to such perfection, are filled with all manner of spiritual pride, blasphemy, and arrogance." Mr. Clark's readers are exhorted “never to give ear to the vain and fantastical flights of crazy pated enthusiasts, schismatical, unauthorised, illegal lay preachers, whose discourses are stuffed with praises and panegyrics of their own righteousness and holiness."

Wesley had recently published his sermon, entitled "Catholic Spirit," in which he stated, that he once zealously maintained the opinion, that every one born in England ought to be a member of the Church of England, and, consequently, to worship God in the manner which that Church prescribes. This opinion he could maintain no longer. He believed his own mode of worship to be "truly primitive and apostolical"; but acknowledges that his "belief is no rule for another." He believed the episcopal form of church government to be scriptural and apostolical; but, he adds, “if you think the presbyterian or independent is better, think so

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still, and act accordingly." Wesley sent this celebrated 1760 sermon to Mr. Clark, and this led to the correspondence Age 57 between Clark and Wesley, published in "Montanus Redivivus." 1 Mr. Clark, in his first letter, informs Wesley that, when he preached his sermon on 1 John iv. 1, Mr. Langston, said to be one of Wesley's lay preachers, was present; and, taking offence, wrote him an epistle, in which "the Spirit forgot to direct him to write common sense, orthography, or English "; and that he suspects Langston's representations to Wesley had induced the latter to send him the sermon on "Catholic Spirit," as "a genteel and tacit reproof, for making any inquiry into the religion and principles of the Methodists." He states that Langston had publicly declared "himself to be as righteous and as free from sin as Jesus Christ; and that it was impossible for him to sin, because the Spirit of God dwelt bodily in him." Mr. Clark further states, that he has read Wesley's sermon, and asserts that Wesley's "propositions and observations have no more foundation in the text, than in the first chapter of Genesis." It is right to add, that Langston was not one of Wesley's preachers, and that Wesley thought the man an enthusiast.

Another publication, belonging to the year 1760, must have a passing notice,-"Scriptural Remedies for Healing the unhappy Divisions in the Church of England, particularly of those People called the Methodists. By Edward Goldney, sen., gent., widower." 8vo, 64 pages. The intention of the eccentric author was good; but that is the highest, indeed, the only, praise we can render him. He finds fault with the clergy, who only visit those of their parishioners who "give them a jugg of good smooth ale, or a mugg of strong October, a bottle of wine, or a bowl of punch"; and then, in his own way and style, argues that, if the clergy would only become what they ought to be, "both high and low, rich and poor would soon be cured of itching ears. Then cobblers and shoemakers, tinkers and braziers, blacksmiths and farriers, tailors and staymakers, barbers and periwig makers, carpenters and joiners, masons and bricklayers, bakers and butchers, farmers and cowkeepers, maltsters and brewers,

1 One of Wesley's letters is given on p. 244 of this volume.

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