Thomas Carlyle.

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then sent forth a dove. It darted away from the
place of its long confinement, and sped on rapid wing
over the flood, now tumine this way and now that,
looking in vain with its gentie eye for the groen earth,
and at last turned back towards the ark of rest. The
tap of its snowy wing was heard on the window^ and
the patriarch reached forth his hand and took it in.
The fierce panttngs of its mottled bresst,and its droop-
ing pinions, told too well that the earth gave no place
of repose. But the second time it was sent abroad
it returned with an olive leaf in its mouth, showing
that the earth had risen from its buriaL and was
sprouting again in verdure. Then the patriarch went
forth with his family, and stood on Mount Ararat, and,
lo ! the earth was at his feet, but how changed ! Cut
into gorges, which showed where the strong currents
swept, and piled into ridges, it bore in every part
marks of the power that had ravaged it. Noah and
his faroUy were alone in the world; and he built an
altar there on the top of the solitaiy mountain, and
lifted his voice in prayer, and the Almighty talked
with hhn as **fHend talketh with friend.'' biddmghim
go forth and occupy the earth. And as tne flange of the
sacrifice rose firom the mountain top, bearing the pa-
triarch's prayer heavenward, the promise was given
that the earth should never again be swept by a
deluge, and, lol God's signet-nng appeared in the
clouds, arching the man of God, and shown as a
warrant that tne covenant should never be broken.
Baptised by the flood, consecrated by the altar,
illummed by the flne fVesh rainbow. Mount Ararat
stood a Mcrsd mountain on the earth.

w^e Ik.

grace fbr


** For I am In a strait betwixt two, havtagadaaire
part, and to be with Christ; which It fiv
Patk t. U.
Why should I wish to die?

TSs tme, the heav'nwaid way is roQ^—
Thorns round my footsteps lie —

But is not Christt imparted strength
And shall I grudge the tear
Wrung forth by sorrows here,
When soon, how soon! His band shall

Why should I wish to die ? '

Is there no work for me to do ?
Swiftly the hours pass by—

For the great task my momants seem too fsw s
Then shall I wish them o'er,
Since I can ne'er re s tore

One parted day, and bid it dawn agnn?

Why should I wish to die?
This is my only time to prove

FaithAil to One on high-
lifting the cross to show him how I love}

For he will ne'er demand

Such evidence at my hand
When I repose beneath his smile aboTe.

Why shoold I wish to die?

Would I so soon from conflict flee ?
My thrice repeated cry

Still meets the word: ** Is not my
lis all to bring thee low-
To prove thee— make thee know

Thou art undone, unworthy but for Meu**

Why should I ifish to die?

True, death's a cafan untrenbled thing;.
But long I thus may Ke

Ere life revisit me as dew of spring—
Ere resurrection-light
Break lustrous on my sight,

And Jesus bid my dust ** awake and sing.^

Oh ! it is not to shun

The thorns that hedge the heav'&ward way —
No wish my task were done.

That makes me long dove-like to flee away ! — >
No sickly sigh for rest
On earth's soft, dreamless breast

That makes me watch the dosing of the days

But my heart-love is gone
To Hfan whom yet I have not seen;

Whose gloiy I have known —
On whose meek breast e'en now I fondly lean;

And I would see his fiace,

And, sinless, taste his grace,
Wliere flesh and weakness come no more be*

His smile makes earth look dim—

Therel none that I desire beude;
And though tvreen me and him

Dread Dissc^ntion rolls its sullen tide.

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I born that stream to ford
That parts me from my Lord;
It camiot whelm me, since my Savour died.

Jesus I Immanuel!

Before I see thee as thoa art,
My soal most brare the swell

Of waters that are chilling to the heart !
Yet, when I feel thee near—
When gleams of heaT^ appear,

How can I help desiring to depart ?
FOruary 25, 1846. A R. C.


She seemed to be first awakened when only aboat
fourteen or fifteen. Shehadbeenayery regular and
attentive Sabbath scholar for two or three years.
Dnring that period there had apparently been no
spiritual impressions— nothing save attention and a
quiet, modest deportment. Her appearance was
winning and gentle, and many noticed and lored her.

She was first aroused, I belieye, under some ser-
mon, but both the text and the substance I hare
alike forgotten, though I think she mentioned them
to me. Her oonyiotions seemed sharp and deep'.
Sometimes, when she came to speak with me, she
would shake all orer with a sort of nerrous tremor.
She spoke simply, and though perhaps not yeiy freely
or fully, yet she said enough to let me into the state
of her soul at that time. She was neither ignorant
nor stupid, and seemed to understand what she said.
I bare no reason to suppose that there was the slight-
cat wish to profess what she did not feel; in truth,
die had no temptation to do so. She was a member
of a Tery ungodly ftmfly, from whom she met with
no encouragement, but the most profane opposition.
She had nothing to gain by coming to me and pro*
fessing what she did; and, besides, her oonduct at
that time was altogether consistent, and marked by
sincerity and simplicity. Many things about her
tended to make her case an interesting one.

I remarked also, at this time, that she was anxious
about the souls of others. One striking fact of this
kind I reiilember wdL

There was an orphan girl, poor, uneducated, un-
godly, who stayed in the flat immediately below. One
afternoon Mary had persuaded her to accompany her
to church, where she was rtey deeply impressed.
That same erenfaig they spent some time together in
prayer. A day or two after Mary brought her to me
as being conoemed about her soul seeking rest and
finding none. She seemed very much in earnest, and
told me of the dreadful thoughts she had of a coming
hell and a coming eternity on that night when she
was first awakened. I spoke to her and prayed with
her, but what has been her conyersation since that
I know not, as shesoon left I fear her goodness was
as the morning dond and the early dew. She w. s
In earnest at the time, but earnestness is not conrer-
fkm; anxiety about the soql is not coming to Christ.

It is not said, If you be in earnest you shall be saved; '
neither is it said. If you be anxious about your soul
you shall inherit the kmgdom. No: except ye be
converted, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom. It
is the coming to Christ that saves us— not the mere
wishing or desiring to come. How many stumble at
this point ! How many perish at the very threshold ;
of the dtj gates ! With how many is conviction i
only like the lightning-flash at midnight, which leaves '
behind it a deeper gloom than before ! |

For some time after tids Maiy continued much
the same aa hitherto — quiet and consistent. I never
had full evidence of her really being in Christ, though
there were many striking things which gave me much
hope. She never became a communicant; and I did
not urge her to this; (or she was still young, and, be- 1
sides, I was not fully satisfied of her conversion. |

It was not long, however, till I noticed a change ,
for the worse. She began to absent herself from the
Sabbath schooL Her attention in church was not
what it used to be. Once or twice my eye caught
her trifling with some companions who were sitting
beside her. Then I noticed a change in her dress, j
Formerly she was neat, but nothing more, in this,
respect; now she was gay and showy. Her deport- 1
ment also changed. Instead of quiet modesty, there
was boldness and forwardness in her look and manner, I
which proclafaned the sad change which had taken |
place. She never came to see me any more, but kept
most studiously aloof from myself and her teacher.

But I could not allow her thus to backslide without
an effort to reclaim her. I sought her out. I went
to her house. Onoe or twice I could not find her.
But once I did find her in her own house, and twice
I met her in the street. Her gay dress saddened and
shocked me. But I at once addressed her on the sub* I
jeot of her apostasy. The first time she was consider-
ably melted, and promised to come again and call upon '
me with a book of mine, of wluch, for a long time, |
she had had the loan. This promise she never AiL
filled. The second time I met her she was much
more hardened. She was quite dvil, and did not
appear to take iU the words of sdenm warning which
I spoke to her; but she was evidently unmoved.'
Every trace of her former impresnons had faded
away. ** She refused to be ashamed.** I

After that I heard of her several times, but the '
accounts were all sad. She went firom sin to sin;|
and I believe she is now a wretched wanderer in the ,

gtreets of E . May she yet be plucked as a brand

from the burning ! May the Seeker of the lost yet '
seek and save her ! She is yet young. She cannot |
be above nineteen or twenty. May she have days |
given her to repent, and not be out off in h^r iniquity !

But what a warning ! O that those who are im<
pressed under the hearing of the Word would lay such
acase to heart! See how far one may go and not be j
converted; see how near one may come to the gates
of the kingdom, and yet never enter in; nay, see j
how one may go up to the gates of the kingdom, and |
look in, and be moved with the sight of the surpassbg
glory, and yet turn round, go back, and hasten down '
to heUl Some years ago, I remember a young
woman came to speak with me about the things of

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eternity. She uras a stranger. Her agony of mind
seemed orerpowering. Her whole body trembled —
her Toice shook— her tears ran down. Her fear was
lest she should miss the way and come short at last.
In her angaish, she laid her head down upon the
table by which I was sitting, and as she sobbed akmd,
she cried out in a tone I cannot forget, " iVe gone to
the kirk, I*Te gone to ministers, IVe gone to prayer^
meetings, and maybe 1*11 not get to hearen after

Awake, thou that sleepest ! Up and run ! It is
for thy life — ^it is for eternity — ^it is for heaven 1 No
lingering — no halting— no looking back I " Seek the
Lord while he may be found.'* Make sure of Christ.
Make sure of an entrance into the kingdom !



EcUtor of the** Watchman;* London,


Mr Wesley repeatedljr declared, that the doc-
trines which he held and taught were those
contained in the Articles of the Church of
England; for, with many others, he understood
I the 17th Article in a sense compatible with
belief in the redemption and possible salvation
of the whole human race. It may be enough,
then, to state, generally, that the Wesleyan-
Methodists agree in the common faith of ortho-
dox Protestant Churches respecting such truths
as the inspiration and siipreme auUiority of the
Holy Scriptures, and the ri^ht of every man t^
read them and judge of their meaning for him-
self; the existence of three co-eqnsd and oo-
etemal persons, Father, Son,* and Holy Ghost;
in the unity of the Grodhead; the true Divinity
and real humanity united in the person of
Christ; the properly sacrificial and atoning cha-
racter of his death; his exaltation, and abiding
priestly intercession and kingly rule; the cer-
tainty that he will come again to judge the
quick and dead; the resurrection of the body;
and the eternity of the torments of the lost as
well as of the happiness of the saved. We
shall thus have a little more room to state the
I Wesleyan views on some points on which they
are, or are thought to be, peculiar. There is
no difficulty in ascertaining them. They are
to be found in recognised publications, especially
in Mr Wesley's fifty-three Discourses (first
published in four volumes in 1771), which, to-
gether with his Notes on the New Testament^

' « It it well known that Dr Adam Clarke, although a firm
beUever in the Deity of Chrift, yet denied that the title
** Sod" had reference to hit divine nature ; and, indeed, con-
' ceitred that in restricttngita apptication to " the holy peraon
or thing born of the Yirgin by the energy of the Holy
Spirit," be waa erecting a bulwark againat the Sodnian and
Arian heresies. But a safeguard acainst the promulgation
of this opinion firom Wesleyan paipits has been provided.
Bvery candidate for the Wesleyan ministry is now, in the
course of his examination on doctrines, distinctly ques-
tioned as to his belief In the DMne and Eternal Son$k^ of
the Lord Jesua.

are referred to in the trust-deeds of the chapels,
as containing the standard doctrines of the
Connexion. And it may be observed here, that
penpiouity was one of the most distinguishing !
characteristics of John Wesley's style, both in
preaching and writing; so that no reader of
ordinary intelligence who fairly examines his
works, can be at a loss to know his meaning. |
It is only by supposing that such fair examina- '
tion has been neglected, that we can account
for the strange misconceptions of his opinions
which have sometimes been entertained.

1. Obiohtal Six, and Human Dbpravitt and
Hblpllessness. — The views on this subject held
and taught by theWesleyan-Methodists, cannot
be more clearly stated than in the following ex-
tract from one of the Catechisms (No. II.) pub- 1
lished under the direction of the Conference. '

Qu€8. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that state
into which man fell ? i

Ans. It consists in the want of original righteous-
ness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which I
is commonly called original sin, together with all i
actual transgressions which proceed from it. |

Qu€S. In what consists the misery of that state
into which man fell ? ,

Ans, All mankind being bom in sin, and following '
the devices and desires of their own corrupt hearts, !
are under the wrath and curse of God, and so are ,
made liable to the miseries of this life, to death itself, i
and to the pains of hell hereafter.

And Mr Wesley was accustomed to express
his views in such language as this : ** In Adam '
all died — all human kind — all the children of '
men who were then in Adam's loins. The I
natural consequence of this is, that every one |
descended from him comes into the world
spiritually dead — dead to God, wholly dead in |
sin, entirely void of the life of God — void of the {
image of God~of all that righteousness and
holiness wherein Adam was created. Instead
of this, every man bom into the world now
bears the image of the devil, in pride and self-
will; the image of the beast, in sensual appe-
tites and desires." * The Wesleyans, then, hold
that fallen man, thus totally depraved, is utterly
unable to move towards Gt>d and Christ, or to
take any step towards his recovery, " without
the grace of God preventing him, that he may
have a good will, and woridng with him when
he has that good will."

2. Thb Atonbmbnt, its Extbnt and Consb-
QUENOBS. — The Wesleyan doctrine is, that the
atonement waa oo-extensive with the &11; not
merely that the sacrifice of Christ was suffi-
ciently meritorious to be, had God so willed it,
a full and complete propitiatory offering for all
the sins of the whole world, but that it truly
and actually wcu offered for every human being.
Christ thus becoming, as Mr Wesley express^
it, " another common head of mankind, a second
general parent and representative of Uie whole
human race." This they call/fiM grace, as ex-
tending freely to all. They believe that, through
« Sermon on •* The New Birth.**

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the atonement and mediation of the Savionr,
a measure of grace — grace enough to enable
him successfully to seek for more grace— is
given to every man; but that this grace may
I be resisted, and it resisted, until it is quenched,
I by all who persevere in sin and unbelief. This

leads us to notice the Wesleyan doctrine on,
! 3. Moral Liberty. — Here we shall avail
i ourselves of the statement of Mr Wesley's
; views given by his^end and fellow-helper, the
I Rev. J. W. Fletcher of Madeley :—

As a conseouence of the doctrine of general re-
, demption. Mr W esley lays down two.axionu, of which
, he never loses sight m his preaching. The first is,
. that all our salvcUion u of God in Ckristf and there-
I fore qforace; all opportunities, invitations, inclina-
tion, and power to believe, beine bestowed upon us
! of pure grace, grace most absolutely free. And so
\ £ur I hope that all who are called Gospel mini-
I sters agree with him. But he proceeds further, for
secondly, he asserts with equal confidence that, ac-
■ cording to the Gh)8pel dispensation, all our damnation
I ii ofourselveSf by our obstmate unbelief and avoidable
, unfaithfulness ; as we may " neglect so great salva-
I tion,^ desire to be " excused^ from coming to the
feasfr of the Lamb, "make Hght'* of God's gracious
j ofiers, refuse to •* occupy," bury our talent, and act
I the part of the *'slothml servant;*' or, m other
i words, " resist, grieve, do despite to, and quench the
Spirit of grace" bi/ our moral agency,

' 4. Justification. — The definition in the
authorized Catechism already referred to, is;
' ** Justification is an act of God's free grace,
1 wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth
I us as righteous in his sigh^ only for the sake
I of Christ." This justification, Wesleyans as-
I sert, is by faith alone. It must, indeed, they
say, be preceded hy repentance, which is described
in the Catechism as ** a grace of the Holy Spirit,
whereby a sinner, from a sense of his sins, and
apprehension of the mercy of Grod in Christ,
doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn
from it to God, with full purpose of, and endea-
vours after, future obedience." But although
a sinner must be a penitent in order to His
acceptable exercise of justifying faith, yet it is
not repentance, in whole or in part, but faith,
an d fai th alone, that justifies. Mr Wesley is very
explicit, both in his assertion of the doctrine
of justification by faith, and in his description
of the faith which justifies. *^ That justifica-
tion," he says, ** whereof our Articles and
Homilies speak, signifies present forgiveness,
pardon of sins, and consequently, acceptance
with Grod, who therein declares his righteous-
ness or justice, and mercy, by or for the remis-
sion of sins that are past (Rom. iii. 25), saying,
' I will be merciful to thy unrighteousness, and
thine iniquities will I remember no more.' I
believe the condition of this is faith (Rom. iv.
5, &c.); I mean, not only that without faith we
cannot be justified, but also, that as soon as any
one has true faith, in that moment he is justified.
Faith, tn general, is a divine, supernatural evi-
dence or conviction of things not seen, not
discoverable by our bodily senses, as being

either past, future, or spirituaL Juttifging faith '
implies not only a divine evidence or conviction j
that ' God was in Christ reconciling the world
unto himself,' but a full reliance on the merits j
of his death— a sure confidence that Christ died
for my sins — that he loved me, and gave himself,
for me. And the moment a penitent sinner
believes this, God pardons and absolves him."
With reference to the origination of this faith,
Mr Wesley aflirms, « that it is the eift of God.
No man is able to work it in himself. It is a
work of omnipotence." And again, he says,
** No merit, no goodness in man precedes the
forgiving love of Grod."

Distinct from justification, and t» order sub-
sequent to it, yet conferred at the tame time
with it, are, according to the Wesleyan theolgy,
the blessings of adoption and regeneration.

5. Adoption and the Witness of the Spirit.
— The Catechism defines adoption as ''.an act
of God's free grace, whereby, upon the for-
giveness of sins, we are received into the
number, and have a right to all the privileges,
of the sons of God." The justified man, then,
being adopted into the heavenly family, it is
his privilege, the V^sl^yans hold, to have the
testimony of the Holy Ghost, as the ** Spirit
of ^option," bearing a clear and unequivocal
testimony to this ^-important fact, and so
filling him with peace and joy. They regard
this witness not as an indirect or refiex evi-
dence, afibrded by the man's experience of the '
" fruits of the Spirit", in his heart or life, but
as directly borne, and as necessarily antecedent
to the testimony of the believer's own spirit,
inasmuch as before we can have a conscious- ' |
ness of loving God, we must really love him;!'
before we can really love him, we must be;
assured that he loves us ; and the assurance
of his love can be communicated only by the

Spirit Of the nature of this ** witness,"

which is made so prominent in Wesleyan
preaching, Mr Wesley says: " It is hard to find '
words in the language of men to explain the
deep things of God. Indeed, there are none
that will adequately express what the Spirit of
Grod works in his children. But, perhaps, we
might say (desiring any who are taught of Grod
to correct, soften, or strengthen, the expres-
sion), by the ' testimony of the Spirif I mean
an inward impression on the soul, whereby the
Spirit of Gh)d immediately and directly witnesses
with my spirit that I am a child of Grod; that
Jesus Christ hath loved me and giyen himself
for me; that all my sins are blotted out, and I,
even I, am reconciled to Grod. I do not mean
hereby," Mr Wesley adds, •* that the Spirit of j
GrO(^ testifies this by any outward voice; no, nor
always by an inward voice, although he may
do this sometimes. Neither do I suppose that
he always appUes to the heart, though he often
may, one or more texts of Scripture. But he
so works upon the soul by his immediate influ-
ence, and by a strong, though inexplicable

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operation, that the stormy wind and troubled
waves subside, and there is a sweet calm: the
heart resting as in the arms of Jesus, and the
sinner being clearly satisfied that all his
* iniquities are forgiven, and his sins covered.* "

6. REOBNBBATioN.-'We shall again extract
from the Conference Catechism here.

Qu€t, What is regeneration, or the new birth ?

Ans, It is that great change which God works in
the Boul, when he raises it from the death of sin to
the life of righteoosness. It is the change.wrought
in the whole soul by the Almighty, when it is
created anew in Christ Jesos— when it is renewed
after the image of God, in righteousness and true

Ques, What follows from omr regeneration, or
being bom again ?

Atis, Then our aanctification being begun, we r©-
ceiye power to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of
Christ, and to live in the exercise of inward and
outward holiness.

We are now led to a doctrine which, perhaps,
more than any other in the Wesleyan system
of theology, has been made the subject of ad-
verse conmient. The reader will anticipate
that we allude to the doctrine of

7. Entire Sanctifioatioit, or "Christiajt
PiRf BCTioN." — The Wesleyans believe not only
that a work of progressive sanctification* is
carried forward in the believer from the period
of his conversion, but, moreover, that those who
seek the blessing by earnest faith, may attain
to a maturity of grace which will exclude sin
from the heart, and fiU it with perfect love to
God and man. This attainment is what they
call Christian Perfection. But, various mis-
takes on this point might have been avoided,
if Mr Wesley's own statements respecting it had
been attended to. For instance, he says : ** To
explain himself a little further on this head : —
1. Not only sin properly so called (that is, a
voluntary transgression of a known law), but
sin improperly so called (that is, an involuntary
transgression of a divine law, known or un-
known), needs the atoning blood. 2. I believe
there is no such perfection in this life as ex-
cludes these involuntary transgressions, which I
apprehend to be naturally consequent on the
ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mor-
tality. 3. Therefore, 'tinteu perfeOion* is a
phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contra-
dict myself. 4. I believe a person filled with
the love of God is still liable to these involun-

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 29 of 145)