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the most important cases, is confined only to the ministers. This, indeed, appears most plainly, when their conference or yearly meeting is considered; for in this meeting, no person, who is not a travelling preacher, has ever been suffered to enter as a member of it; and, indeed, this is the point to which the preachers have always stedfastly adhered with the utmost firmness and resolution, and on which the division at present entirely rests. They are also upbraided by the New Methodists, for having abused the power they have assumed: a-great many of these abuses the New Methodists have formally protested against, which are enumerated in various publications, and particularly in the Preface to the Life of one of their deceased friends, Mr, Alexander. Kilham. Hence these New Methodists have been sometimes denominated Kilhamites.
Though these are the points on which the division seems principally to have rested, yet there are several other things that have contributed to it. It is frequently easy to foresee and to calculate the future changes in society that the lapse of time will produce ; and in no instance is this observation better warranted than in this division, which most persons have long expected. The old attachment of the Methodists to the Established Church, which originated in Mr. Wesley, and was cherished by him and many of the
preachers by all possible means, and also the dislike to these sentiments in many others of the preachers, and of the societies, were never failing subjects of contention. As all parties are distinguished in their contests by some badge or discriminating circumstance, so here the receive ing, or not receiving, the Lord's Supper, in the Established Church, was long considered as the criterion of Methodistical zeal or disaffection. Thus the rupture that had been long foreseen by intelligent persons, and for which the minds of the Methodists had been undesignedly prepared, became inevitable when Mr. Wesley's influence no longer interfered. Soon after Mr. Wesley's death, many things had a tendency to displease the societies, and bring forward the division. Many petitions having been sent by the societies to the preachers, requesting to have the Lord's Supper adıninistered to them in their own chapels, the people had the mortification to find that this question was decided by lot, and not by the use of reason and serious discussion!
The New Melhodists profess to proceed upon liberal, open, and ingenuous principles, in the construction of their plan of church government; and their ultimate decision in all disputed matters, is in their popular annual assembly, chosen, by certain rules, from among the preachers and societies. These professions are at least general
and liberal; but as this sect has yet continued for only a short season, little can be said of it at present. It becomes matier of curious conjece ture and speculation, how far the leading persons among them will act agreeably to their present liberal professions. If they should become firmly established in power and influence, and have the opportunity of acting otherwise, they have at least the advantage of the example of their late brethren, and of Dr. Priestley's remarks upon them. Speaking of the leading men among the Methodists, the doctor says." Finding themselves by degrees at the head of a large body of people, and in considerable power and influence, they must not have been men, if they bad not felt the love of power gratified in such a situation; and they must have been more than men, if their subsequent conduct had not been influenced by it.” A shrewd hint, that Dr. P. thought the Methodists had been too remiss in their attention to their liberties, which they ought to corrvry down entire and unmutilated to posterity,
JUMPERS. ORIGINALLY this singular practice of jumping during the time allotted for religious worship and instruction, was confined to the people called Methodists in Wales, the followers of Harris, Rowland, Williams, and others, known in England by the appellation of the Evangelical Clergy. The practice began in the western part of the country, about the year 1760. It was soon after defended by Mr. William Williams (the Welch poet, as he is sometimes styled) in a pamphlet, which was patronized by the abettors of jumping in religious assemblies, but viewed by the seniors and the grave with disapprobation. However, in the course of a few years, the advocates of groaning and loud talking, as well as of loud
singing, repeating the same line or stanza over , and over thirty or forty tinies, became more nu
merous, and were found among some of the ; other denominations in the principality, and con
tinue to this day. Several of the more zealous itinerant preachers in Wales, recommended the people to cry out Gogoniant (the Welch word for glory), Amen, &c. &c. to put themselves in violent agitations; and finally, to jump until they were quite exhausted, so as often to be obliged to fall down on the floor, .ar on the field where this kind of worship was held. If any thing in the profession of religion, that is absurd and unreasonable, were to surprise us, it would be the censure that was cast upon those who gently attempted to stem this tide, which threatened the destruction of true religion as a reasonable service. Where the essence of true
religion is placed in customs and usages, which have no tendency to sanctify the several powers through the medium of the understanding, we ought not to be surprised, when we contemplate instances of extravagance and upostacy. Human nature, in general, is not capable of such exertions for any length of time, and when the spirits become exhausted, and the heat kindled by sympathy is subsided, the unhappy persons sink into themselves, and seek for support in intoxication. It is not to be doubted but there are many sincere and pious persons to be found among this elass of people-men who think they are doing God's service, whilst they are the victims of fanaticism. These are objects of compassion, and doubtless will find it in God. But it is certain, from incontestible facts, that a number of persons have attached themselves to those religious 'societies, who place a very disproportioned stress on the practice of jumping, from suspicious motives. The theory and practice of such a religion are easily understood; for the man who possesses an unblushing confidence, and the greatest degree of muscular energy, is likely to excel in bodily exercise. Upon the whole, it is probable, as such an exercise has no countenance in reason or revelation, that it has been, and is still, productive of more evil than good. . Many of the ministers who have been foremost in encouraging jumping,