Abbildungen der Seite

seemed to have nothing in view but the gratification of their vanity, inflaming the passions of the multitude by extravagant representations of the character of the Deity, the condition of man, and design of the Saviour's mission. The minister that wishes not to study to shew himself of God, bas only to favour jumping, with its appendages; for as reason is out of the question in such a religion, he can be under no fear of shocking it. It is some consolation to real religion, to add, that this practice is on the decline, as the more sober or conscientious, who were at first at a loss to judge where this practice might carry them, have seen its pernicious tendency.

Such is the account of the JUMPERS, which, with a few alterations, has been transmitted me by a respectable minister, who frequently visits the principality. It is to be hoped, that the exercise of common sense will in time recover them from these extravagant ecstasies, which pain the rational friends of revelation, and yield matter of exultation to the advocates of infidelity.

About the year 1785, I myself happened very accidentally to be present at a meeting, which terinigated iu jumping. It was beld in the open air, on a Sunday evening, near Newport, in Monmouthshire. The preacher was one of Lady Huntingdon's students, who concluded his sermon with the recammendation of jumping; and to allow him the praise of consistency, he got

down from the chair on which he stood, and juniped along with them. The arguments he adduced for this purpose were, that David danced before the ark, that the babe leaped in the womb of Elizabeth, and that the man whose lameness was removed, leaped and praised God for the mercy which he had received! He expatiated on these topics with uncommon fervency, and then drew the inference, that they ought to shew similar erpressions of joy, for the blessings which Jesus Christ had put into their possession. He then gave an empassioned sketch of the sufferings of the Saviour, and hereby roused the passious of a few around him into a state of violent agitation. About nine men and seven women, for some little time, rocked to and fro, groaned aloud, and then jumped with a kind of frantic fury. Some of the audience flew in all directions; others gazed on in silent amazewent! They all gradually dispersed, except the jumpers, who continued their exertions from eight in the evening to near eleven at night. I saw the conclusion of it; they at last kneeled down in a circle, holding each other by the hand, while one of them prayed with great fervour, and then all rising up froin off their knees, departed. But previous to their dispersion, they wildly pointed up towards the sky, and reminded one another that they should soon meet th. re, and bę never again separated!

I quitted the spot with astonishment. Such disorderly scenes cannot be of any service to the deJuded individuals, nor can they prove beneficial to -society. Whatever credit we may and ought to. allow this class of Christians for good intentions, it is impossible not to speak of the practice itself, without adopting terms of unqualified disapprobation. The reader is referred to Bingley's and Lvans' Tour through Wales, (the latter author is a. clergyman at Bristol), where (as many particulars. are detailed respecting the Jumpers) his curiosity will receive a still farther gratification. It pains the author of the present work, that he has it not in his power to give a more favourable account of them. The decline of so unbecoming a practice will, it is to be hoped, be soon followed. by its utter extinction.

UNIVERSALISTS. THE Universalists, properly so called, are those who believe, that as Christ died for all, .so, before he shall have delivered up his mediatorial kingdom to the Father, all shall be brought to a participation of the benefits of his death, in their restoration to holiness and happiness. Their scheme includes a reconciliation of the tenets of Calvinism and Arminianism, by uniting the leading doctrines of both, as far as they are.

found in the scriptures: from which union they think the sentiment of Universal restoration naturally flows.

Thus they reason: The Arminian proves from Scripture, that God is love; that he is good to all; that his tender mercy is over all his works; that he gave his son for the world; that Christ

died for the world, even for the whole world; · and that God will have all men to be saved.

"The Calvinist proves also from Scripture, that God is without variableness or shadow of turning; that his love, like himself, alters not; that the death of Christ will be efficacious towards all for whom it was intended ; that God will perform all his pleasure, and that his council shall stand. The union of these scriptural principles, is the final restoration of all men.

“ Taking the principles of the Calvinists and Armiians separately, we find the former teaching, or at least inferring, that God doth not love all; but that he made the greater part of men to be endless monuments' of his wratlı': the latter decaring the love of God to all; but admitting bis final failure of restoring the greater part. "The God of the former is great in power and wsdom, but deficient in goodness, and capricous in his conduct: who that views the character can sincerely love it? The God of the latter is exceeding good; but deficient in power and

wisdom: who can trust such a being? If, therefore, both Calvinists and Arminians love and trust the Deity, it is not under the character which their several systems ascribe to him; but they are constrained to hide the imperfections which iheir views cast upon him, and boast of a God, whose highest glory their several schemes will not admit."

The Universalists teach the doctrine of election ; but not in the exclusive Calvinistic sense of it: they suppose that God has chosen some for the good of all; and that his final purpose towards all, is intiinated by his calling his elect the first born and the first fruits of his creatures, which, say they, implies other branches of his family, and a future in-gathering of the barvest of mankind.

They teach also that the righteous shal have part in the first resurrection, shall be blessed and happy, and be made priests and kings to Go and to Christ in the millennial kingdom, and that over them the second death shall have no pover; that the wicked will receive a punishment apportioned to their crimes; that punishment itselfis a mediatorial work, and founded upon mercy; on. sequently, that it is a means of humbling, subluing, and finally reconciling the sinner to God.:

They add, that the words rendered everlastin, eternal, for ever, and for ever and ever, in th

« ZurückWeiter »