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His pen was used, in 1747, against the Bishop of London, who, in his charge to the clergy, numbering more than two thousand, attacked the Methodists and Moravians as enemies to the Established Church, and as spreading “ doctrines big with pernicious influences upon practice.” The “ Letter to the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of London, occasioned by his lordship’s charge late to his clergy,” is a spirited and dignified reply. He says he has passed by for several years “abund. ance of persons” who had wrongfully charged him; but he could not be silent when so distinguished a person was “under considerable mistakes” concerning him, lest silence should be construed into contempt. The writer had “good reason to believe his lordship was entirely satisfied” with the answer. (Letter to Mr. Free.) Mr. Wesley and Mr: Whitefield, a few years before, had waited upon Bishop Gibson; and a few years after many French prisoners petitioned the bishop to allow Mr. Fletcher to preach to them in their own language, and were refused. A few months after the refusal the bishop died of a cancer in his mouth. “Some may think this was a just retri.bution for silencing such a prophet on such an occasion. I am not ashamed to acknowledge that is my own sentiment.” (Wesley's Life of Fletcher.) Bishop Gibson was in his eightieth year when he died; and though an opposer of Methodism, which he considered a system of enthusiasm, yet he was a useful man, and almost unequaled in the annals of literary exertion.

In 1750 a Rev. Mr. Baily, of Cork, wrote against the Methodist preachers of the city, and a defense of the corporation and clergy for the persecuting riots of 1749. Mr. Wesley replies to the curate of Christ's Church. One of the complaints against Mr. Wesley was, that he was as fond of riches as the most worldly clergy men. Says Mr. Baily, two thousand members paying "two thousand pence a week!" besides, “a fine yearly revenue from assurance and salvation tickets !” Mr. Wesley, in a letter to the Mayor of Cork, asked to be "treated (I will not say as a clergyman, a gentleman, a Christian) with such justice and humanity as are due to a Jew, a Turk, or a Pagan.” A particular account of the Cork riots is to be found in the Journals.

One bishop had set an example of attack on the new sect; he was followed by another, the Bishop of Exeter, who published a book, entitled, “ The Enthusiasm of the Methodists and Papists compared.” Mr. Wesley replied in a letter, dated 1750, and in another of 1752 :

“I began writing a letter to the Comparer of the Papists and Methodists. Heavy work, such as I should never choose; but sometimes it must be done. Well might the ancient say, 'God made practical divinity necessary, the devil

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controversial.' But it is necessary: we must resist the devil, or he will not fly from us.”Journal, November, 1751.

Bishop Lavington undertook to prove that the whole conduct of the Methodists was but a counterpart of the most wild fanaticism of Popery, by citing the writings of both sects; and that the Methodists were advancing Popery. Mr. Wesley fol

. lowed the bishop step by step unto the end in two letters, and thus

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“I have at length gone through your whole performance, weighed whatever you cite from my writings, and shown at large how far those passages are from proving all, or any part of your charge. So that all your attempts to build on them, of the pride and vanity of the Methodists ; of their shuffling and prevaricating; of their affectation and prophesying; laying claim to the miraculous favors of heaven; unsteadiness of temper, unsteadiness in sentiment and practice; art and cunning; giving up inspiration and extraordinary calls; skepticism, infidelity, Atheism; uncharitableness to their opponents; contempt of order and anthority; and fierce, rancorous quarrels with each other; of the tendency of Methodism to undermine morality and good works; and to carry on the good work Popery. All this fabric falls to the ground at once, unless you can find some better foundation to support it.”

Doubtless the Methodists were and are possessed of some enthusiasm. So were Christ and the apostles. So our founder acknowledged to the charge: “I have much constitutional enthusiasm, and you have much more.” (Letter to Charles Wesley, 1753.) And how can any great object be attained without enthusiasm ? Bishop Lavington was a low disputant, seeing to help his cause he laid hold of slander. He published in his book that Mr. Wesley said to a certain maid “in his chamber in the night such things as were not fit to be spoken.” Whereas he says he never slept a night in that house, and was never even in that town after sunset. after he was in Exeter. On Sunday morning he went to the Cathedral, a very large, ancient, and grand Gothic edifice, and heard a useful sermon. The great sounding organ particularly attracted his attention, as it does yet the attention of all strangers. After the public service he partook of the sacrament, administered by the bishop. He remarks: “I was well pleased to partake of the Lord's Supper with my old opponent, Bishop Lavington. O may we sit down together in ti.e kingdom of our Father!”

Two years before he engaged with the Bishop of Exeter he ended a controversial correspondence with a Mr. John Smith, otherwise the Bishop of Oxford, Dr. Thomas Secker. He became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1753. He wrote a series of letters to Mr. Wesley on the doctrines and practices of the Methodists rather in the spirit of an inquirer, and they were severally replied to. The correspondence began in 1745, and ended in 1748. John Smith's

Ten years


letters are in an appendix to Moore’s Life of Wesley. The replies are six, and are in the usual editions of Wesley's works.

In 1758 a Rev. Dr. Free attacked the Methodists: and their founder, who replied in two letters. One was written in Tullamore, in Ireland. He says: “I wrote a short answer to Dr. Free's weak, bitter, scurrilous invective against the people called Methodists. But I doubt whether I shall meddle with him any more; he is too dirty a writer for me to touch.” As Dr. Free published a sermon on the same subject, and in the same strain, Mr. Wesley gave him another letter, and says: “I wrote a second letter to Dr. Free, the warmest opponent I have had for many years. I leave him now to laugh and scold, and witticise and call names just as he pleases, for I have done.” It may be supposed that in the great field congregations collections were usually taken up; but Dr. Free is told that “the pence and the preaching" did not “ go hand in hand together."

In the same year he wrote a letter to the Rev. Mr. Potter, who had published a sermon "on the pretended Inspiration of the Methodists." In the letter he declares that he contended not for the extraordinary inspiration of the apostles, but for the promised assistance of the Holy Spirit to all Christians.

In 1759 we find "A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Downes, Rector of St. Michael's, Wood-street, London, occasioned by his late tract, entitled, “Methodism Examined and Exposed.?” Here is the conclusion of the whole matter: “In a word, all ancient heresies have in a manner concentered in the Methodists; particularly those of the Simonians, Gnostics, Antinomians, Valentinians, Donatists, and Montanists!” Says Mr. Wesley: “While your hand was in you might as well have added, Carpocratians, Eutychians, Nestorians, Sabellians." Nothing new was brought against the Methodists; but the old objections had to be answered again. The writer made bold assertions; but was so bold because he was so blind.” It appears that Mr. Downes did not see the reply, but died before it was published. The widow procured a tract to be written in answer; but as it contained no little virulence and scurrility he did not notice it. (Journal, November, 1760.)

In 1762 the Rev. Dr. Horne preached a sermon on justification before the University of Oxford, in which he spoke of the "heresies making their periodical revelations,” and of the “new lights at the Tabernacle and Foundry,” and objected to justification by faith alone, but rather by works accompanying it. Mr. Wesley replied to the sermon, and set forth the Protestant, the Church of England, and the Scriptural doctrine of justification by faith alone against

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the five arguments of the preacher. The tract is a concise and clear defense of the docirine against some plausible objections. Dr. Horne was the author of a Commentary of the Psalms, which Mr. Wesley thought was the best' ever written. It seems that the gentleman was a Hutchinsonian in his creed.


Hours with the Mystics. A Contribution to the History of Religious Opinion,

By ROBERT ALFRED VAUGHAN. 2 vols. London: Parker & Son. 1856. Essays and Remains of the Rev. Robert Alfred Vaughan. Edited, with a Memoir, by the Rev. ROBERT VAUGHAN. 2 vols. London: Parker & Son.

1858. The intelligence of the death of Mr. R. A. Vaughan, in the autumn of 1857, produced peculiar feelings of disappointment and sadness in the hearts of his many personal and theological friends. He had been known as the author of a volume of poetry, The Witch of Endor and other Poems, published while a student in the Lancashire Independent College. Subsequently, his papers in the British Quarterly, marked as they were by vast research and chastened imagination, gave his name admission to some of the leading literary circles of England and Scotland. But thus far his reputation as an author was only circumscribed, and it was not until the appearance of Hours with the Mystics that the public became fairly acquainted with him. The work was received with instant attention and favor. A number of the prominent critical periodicals contained commendatory and exhaustive reviews of it, while it . created no little stir among the gowned race on the banks of the Isis and the Cam. Not that it was hailed with such enthusiasm as deifies some books that are born in a palace on a bright morning, but die before night by the wayside, and are buried in the potter's field. Denied such an ostentatious natal hour, it was happily spared from a like premature and ignoble grave. Its mission was not to the masses, but to the thinking mind and the feeling heart. The facts it contained had never before been condensed into even a score of works; the style was pure and engaging, the treatment skillful and attractive. The favorable judgments upon it were for the most part from exalted sources; and the author's laurels were of such value that but a tithe of them would have been ample reward for those five years of unremitting labor in languishing health. But scarcely had Mr. Vaughan time to witness such a favorable


reception of his work before he was compelled to lay down his pen and die. The interest previously excited in reference to him was now doubled ; and to satisfy this, as well as to pay a tribute to the worth of an affectionate and gifted son, Dr. Vaughan, himself an eminent English author, collected his various minor productions and published them under the title of Essays und Remains. The work embraces a memoir, contributions to British magazines, the best poems of the deceased, and some fragmentary but valuable reflections on religion. The memoir was sad work for a father, but we thank him for it, because it admits the light into a great soul, and shows us how much of love and usefulness can be combined into a brief lifetime. Though painted by a kindred hand, we can detect no attempt to gloss irregularities of feature. We discover many traces of a father's tears, but nowhere do they blind the critic's eye or bribe his pen.

It would be alike instructive and interesting to linger at some of those parts in the course of the Memoir that describe the phases of Mr. Vaughan's inner experience, but we are assured that we deal stricter justice to the dead in giving but a hasty glance at the events of his life in order to widen the field for the consideration of his greatest work. He was born in Worcester on the 18th of March, 1923. At the close of his thirteenth year he entered the school of University College, London, and in 1842 he took his Bachelor's degree with honors in the classics. We find him a student in the Lancashire Independent College in 1843; and after completing his theological course in that institution he went to Germany, and was matriculated at the University of Halle. Not long had he been attending the lectures there before he began to be acclimated to the hazy atmosphere of German speculation. He was learning to dream too, and his faith was on the wane. Unlike many unfortunate ones, however, under similar circumstances, he saw his error and embraced the remedy for it. So he passed through the ordeal of rationalistic doubts, and came out like tried gold. After enjoying the rare opportunities afforded him, not least of which was the society of the saintlike Tholuck, he returned to England a stronger and better man. He then accompanied his father on a tour through Switzerland and Italy, after which he assumed the active duties of the ministry by becoming assistant pastor in Bath with that distinguished and useful man the Rev. William Jay. In 1848 he was married, and continued his pastoral labors in Bath two years. From there he was called to Birmingham, where he remained until the summer of 1855, when failing health compelled him to resign his charge.

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