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volumes 12mo. But the publication, perhaps, most deserving attention, is Clarkson's Portraiture of Quakerism, in three volumes, svo. the second edition of which is just published. It is pleasingly written, and contains much information respecting them. Some, indeed, are inclined to think that the society is here described, rather us they ought to be, than as they are ; but the reader is recommended to the perusal of the work itself, when he will have it in his power to form his own judgment respecting its' justness and fidelity. Certain it is that the publication is a great favourite with the Friends, and they are no doubt much indebted to the worthy author for having given so full and minute an account of them.
I have thus endeavoured to state at some length the doctrines and views of Quakerism, because its advocates have been subjected to gross misrepresentations. Many have said they are a species of Deists, exalting their natural light above the scripture, which some of them have called a dead letter; others have deemed them a kind of Enthusiasts, violently enslaved by their impulses and feelings; whilst a third class have considered them, notwithstanding their professions respecting the spirit, as worldly-minded, eagerly intent on the acquisition of property, and thus commanding the good things of this present world. Persons, who entertain any of these
opinions concerning them, will perceive from the above account, that though their sentiments are very peculiar, as are also their manners, yet we have every reason to suppose them sincere in their professions, and upon the whole, steadily governed by the prospects of another world. Allowances ought to be made for human infirmity. Nor must we expect, from man more than it is in his power to perform. Every individual of every sect has an indubitable right to form bis own opinions on religious subjects: and let him freely indulge those opinions which (however absurd in the eyes of others) may to him appear consonant to truth, whilst he holds sacred the peace and happiness of society.
METHODISTS, BOTH CALVINISTIC AND ARMINIAN. THE Methodists in this country form a large part of the community. In the year 1729, they sprang up at Oxford, under Mr. Morgan (who soon after died) and under Mr. John Wesley. In the month of November, of that year, the latterbeing then fellow of Lincoln College, began to spend some evenings in reading the Greek New Testament along with Charles Wesley, student, Mr. Morgan, commoner, of Christ Church, and Mr. Kirkman, of Merton College. Next year, two
or three of the pupils of Mr. John Wesley, and one pupil of Mr. Charles Wesley, obtained leave to attend these meetings. Two years after, they were joined by Mr. Ingham, of Queen's College, Mr. Broughton, of Exeter, and Mr. James Hervey; and in 1735, they were joined by the celebrated Mr. Whitfield, then in his eighteenth year. They soon obtained the name of Methodists, from the exact regularity of their lives ; which gave occasion to a young gentleman of Christ Church, to say,-"Here is a new sect of Methodists sprung up!" alluding to a sect of ancient physicians, who practised medicine by method or regular rules, in opposition to quackery or empiricism, Thus was the term Methodists originally applied to this body of Christians, on account of the methodical strictness of their lives; but is indeed now, by some, indiscriminately appropriated to every individual who manifests a more than ordinary concern for the salvation of mankind. .
These heads differing soon afterwards in religious sentiments, their respective followers distributed themselves into two parties; the one under Mr. George Whitfield, the other under Messrs. John and Charles Wesley. Educated at Oxford, theseleaders stillcontinued to profess an attachment to the articles and liturgy of the established church, though they more commonly adopted the mode of worship which prevails among the Dissenters. Upon their being excluded from the pulpits in many churches, they look to preaching in the fields; and from the novelty of the thing, in conjunction with the fervour of their exertions, they were attended by some thousands of people! In their public labours, Mr. Whitfield having a most sonorous voice, was remarkable for an engaging and powerful eloquence; whilst Mr. John Wesley, being less under the influence of his passions, possessed, both in writing and preaching, a perspicuous and commanding simplicity. Even their enemies confess that they contributed in several places to reform the lower classes of the community. The colliers at Kingswood, near Bristol, and the tinners in Cornwall, were greatly benefilted by their exertions. In consequence of their attention to the religion of Jesus, by the instrumentality of these preachers, many of them rose to a degree of respectability, and became valuable members of society. The followers of Mr. Wesley are Arminians, though some of his preachers incline to Baxterianism. The followers of Mr. Whitfield are Calvinists, and were patronized by the late Countess Dowager of Huntingdon, to whom Mr. Whitfield was chaplain, and who was a lady of great benevolence and piely. Lady Erskine (a near relation of the present lord chancellor) took her situation, and was said to be equally attentive to the concerns of this part of the religious community. She is lately deceased. With respect to the splitting of the Methodists into Calvinists and Arminians, it happened so far back as the year 1741 ; the former being for particular, and the latter for universal redemption. Of the number of the Methodists, various statements have been given; but no account has ever yet reached me which bore the marks of accuracy. · Both Mr. Wesley and Mr. Whitfield were indefatigable in promoting their own views of the Christian religion, notwithstanding all the reproaches with which they were stigmatized. It is well known, that for this purpose Mr. Whitfield went over several times to America. Mr. Whitfield, indeed, established an orphan-house in Georgia, for which he made collections in this country, and which was since converted into -a college for the education of young men, designed chiefly for the ministry. To this paragraph, the American editor of the Sketch has added:-"It has been lately burnt, and the whole of the benefice added to it is in possession of the state; a just judgment for purchasing slaves to support a