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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES




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SKETCHES



EMINENT METHODIST MINISTERS.



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llustrations.



EDITED BY



JOHN M'CLINTOCK, D. D,



PUBLISHED BY CARLTON & PHILLIPS.

200 MULBERRY-STREET.
1854.



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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by

CARLTON & PHILLIPS,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of
New-York.



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r t i a r t.



THE "age of chivalry" was renewed in its noblest
aspects, in the beginnings of Methodism. Its history,
especially in America, is a record of moral heroism
unsurpassed in any age of the Church. The story is
yet unwritten. The historians of the country have

< generally ignored, in utter blindness, one of the richest

to

3 fields open to them ; and the historians of the Church

have done but little toward a true and ample account
Jf

" of the vast and valorous labours of these modern apos-
ties. Every memorial, then, however slight, of the
lives and toils of the fathers is at once a blessing to
$ the Church, and a contribution to the true history of
o the civilization of the age. To this class belong the
sketches of Wesley, Fletcher, Garrettson, M'Kendree,
Roberts, Pickering, and Hedding, given in this volume.
To a later period belong the lives of Fisk, Emory,
Levings, and Olin ; but the very names will justify
their collocation here with the elder fathers. They are



44 ?955



4 PREFACE.

illustrations wonderful illustrations in fact of the
vigorous and healthful growth of Methodism ; each of
them affording a noble specimen of high intellectual
power and large accomplishments devoted, with entire
self-denial, to the service of the Church of God.

One memoir, and only one, of a living person is
given : and the name of JABEZ BUNTING, the great
leader of English Methodism, will justify that devia-
tion from the plan of the volume, if any name could.

The names of the authors of the sketches are given
in the table of contents, except in two instances not
left to the editor's discretion.

Should this volume meet with the favour of the
public, it will be followed by another, and perhaps by
several, in succeeding years, printed and illustrated in
the same beautiful style.

JOHN M'CLINTOCK.

NEW-YORK, Oct. 20, 1863.



C



PAGE

JOHN WESLEY 9

BY THE KEY. O. T. DOBBIN, LL. D., HTTLL COLLEGE, ENGLAND.

WILLIAM M'KENDREE 69

BY THE BET. B. BT. J. FRY.

JOHN EMORY 105

BY JOHN M'CLINTOCK, D. D.

ROBERT R. ROBERTS 139

BY J. FLOY, D. D.

ELIJAH HEDDING 159

BY THE BET. M. L. BCUDDER, A. M.

JOHN FLETCHER , 191

BY THE BEY. J. B. HAGANY, A. M.

FREEBORN GARRETTSON 223

WILLBUR FISK 241

BY BET. PBOFESSOB O. H. TIFFANY, A. M.

GEORGE PICKERING 263

BY THB BET. ABEL 8TETEN8, A. M.

NOAH LEVINGS 275

BY . "W. CLABK, . D.

STEPHEN OLIN 317

BY J. FLOY, D. D.

JABEZ BUNTING 343

BY THE BET. ABEL STEVENS, A. M.

THE OLD NEW-ENGLAND CONFERENCE.... , 361



II n s t rations.



FACING PAGE

JOHN WESLEY 1

EPWORTH CHURCH 18

EPWORTH RECTORY 19

CHARTER-HOUSE 21

OLD FOUNDRY 38

WESLEY, HAMILTON, AND COLE 62

(AS SEEN -WALKING IN THE STREETS OP EDINBURGH.)

WILLIAM M'KENDREE 69

FIRST METHODIST CHURCH IN OHIO 78

JOHN EMORY 105

METHODIST BOOK CONCERN 122

ROBERT R. ROBERTS 139

ELIJAH HEDDING 159

JOHN FLETCHER 191

MADELEY CHURCH 199

THE HOUSE IN WHICH FLETCHER WAS BORN. 209

FREEBORN GARRETTSON 223

WILLBUR FISK 241

GEORGE PICKERING 263

PICKERING'S MANSION 268

NOAH LEVINGS 275

STEPHEN OLIN. 317

JABEZ BUNTING 343

WESLEYAN THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, RICHMOND, ENG 356

ENTRANCE HALL AND PRINCIPAL STAIRCASE 367

THE OLD NEW-ENGLAND CONFERENCE.... . 361



The incidents of history and the objects of nature derive
much of their impressiveness from the circumstances sur-
rounding both. Contrast is essential to grand effects. The
massacre at Bethlehem gathers blackness from the infant
age of the victims ; and the frantic leap of Niagara con-
trasts finely with the oily smoothness of the river above
the Fall. The voyager near "earth's central line" the
region of perpetual sun and frequent calm, where the
surface of the sea is unbroken with a billow, yet the bulk
of the ocean moves together like some monster labouring
under an oppressive load

" in torrid clime
Dark heaving, boundless, endless, and sublime ;"

marks the huge sweltering gambols of the whale, and
hears the loud hiss and rush of the jet he projects into the
air best in the cool gray and death-like stillness of the
early dawn. The level and the quiet of all around
convey the most vivid and instantaneous impressions to
the watcher's eye and ear; and "There is that leviathan!"



10 JOHN WESLEY.

(Psa. civ, 26,) bursts from the lips with an assurance and a
rapture which its unwieldy pas seuls would not awaken
amid the stirring activities of day and the distraction of
stormier scenes and wilder moods. And having traversed
under a burning summer sun the length of some Swiss
valley, and encountered in your fatiguing march, knap-
sack on shoulder and staff in hand, the varieties of mid-
winter temperature by the mer de glace, and the heat of
the dog-days in deep, serene, and sheltered nooks, where
air to breathe seems almost as great a rarity as wind to
blow, where the fumes of the rank vegetation and the wild
flowers are stifling and unhealthy, what think you is the
fittest time and place to hear the thunder of the avalanche,
and trace and tremble at its fall ? It is just at that cool
hour when, refreshed at your hostelry, your sense of weari-
ness is removed, but sufficient languor remains to tame
down your mind into harmony with the scene, and you
wander out some half-mile from your temporary home,
like the orphan patriarch of old, to meditate at eventide.
The sun has just set over the Jungfrau or Schreckhorn,
and, liberal of its cosmetics, has laid its red upon the dead
cheek of the everlasting snow. There is not a breeze
stirring. The brief twilight is just about to close in night.
The wing of the last loitering bee has been folded in its
hive. The beetle has droned his sonorous vesper-hymn.
All is silence, uninterrupted by a sound, except perchance
at distant intervals the faint bleat of the goat on the rock
high overhead, or the whistle of some shepherd-pipe in the
hand of the rustic returning from his labour :

" For here the patriarchal days
Are not a pastoral fable ; pipes in the liberal air
Mix with the sweet bells of the sauntering herd."



JOHN WESLEY. 11

Then on the startled ear, that has been learning wisdom at
the feet of silence, bursts a crack, like the sharp instanta-
neous report of a rifle, followed and drowned on the
moment by a confused rustle, hoarse rumble, and after-
ward a heavy thunderous sound of fall and concussion,
comparable to nothing so much as the cadence of ten
thousand woolpacks dropped together upon a boarden
floor. The danger is not near, but the vibrations of the
air and the almost breathless hush of the evening make it
seem so. A mountain of snow and commingled ice has
fallen down some gorge that debouches into our" valley,
and a spray of snowy particles, which rises cloudwise into
the darkening sky, shows the scene and the nature of the
ruinous visitation. The tranquillity of the hour makes the
crash more loud, the devastation more appalling. Amid
lightning, tempest, and thunder, the chief effect had been
lost the avalanche had been unnoticed the crown of
majesty had fallen unheeded from the monarch moun-
tain's head.

A phenomenon with like effect, appealing to a different
sense, will show itself in other scenes. As the traveller
approaches Rome from the south, leaving Naples with its
charms and its cheats, its lazzaroni and its liveliness, its
exquisite sky and sea, with its execrable superstition, dirt,
and frivolty behind; but notwithstanding all its draw-
backs, where

" Simply to feel that we breathe, that we live,

Is worth all the joys that life elsewhere can give,"

and passing the sounding sea and the dismal marsh, lofty
Terracina and lowly Fondi, at length tops the range that
encloses the Campagna southward, what object is it chiefly



12 JOHN WESLEY.

arrests the eye ? In that great ocean of a plain, a hundred
miles by fifty, the seeming crater of some gigantic volcano,
with its sulphur streams and its noisome stenches, like a
bark upon the waters, floats imperial Eome, the object
most conspicuous in the eternal city the wondrous cupola,
which speaks her the queen of architectural grandeur,
resting like a diadem upon her brow, and bearing no
remote resemblance to the tiara of her pontiff ruler;
nothing besides can arrest the gaze. The eye takes in, in
its sweep, the mountain line of the northern and eastern
horizon, Soracte, empurpled by distance, with its sister
ridges on the right, the silver sea with Ostia on the left.
It marks the ruins that here and there stud the plain -the
tombs, the towns, the towers, the arches, and the aque-
ducts, the long reaches of which last stretch in picturesque
continuity here and there, like a caravan of mules wind-
ing over the sierras of Granada. We stand on the brow
of Albano, sheltering ourselves from the midday sun under
the shade of some broad plane-tree, or luxuriant elm, or
embowering vine, and see we cannot but see the tomb
of Pompey, the ruins of Bovillse, Frattochie, Torre di
Mezza Yia, perhaps even Metella's tomb, and catch
glimpses now and then of the unequalled Yia Appia, its
geometrical rectitude in striking contrast with the ser-
pentining Tiber; but above all, and beyond all, we look
upon that group in the centre of the picture, that lone
mother of dead empires, "the Mobe of nations" Eome.
All objects besides are unattractive; the mountains too
distant, the ruins too bare, the wild flowers of this huge
prairie too minute and commonplace for special attention;
all things near the soil, too, quiver in the dazzling light
and burning heat of noon ; but high above the undulating



JOHN WESLEY. 13

vapour, and towering in its Parian whiteness up into an
angelic sky, rises the colossal creation of Buonarotti's
genius. "We glance at other objects; we gaze at this. It
breaks the line of our northern horizon with a pomp and
pretension that nothing besides can dare. It looms out of
the bosom of the "weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable"
foreground, a pleasant and most exciting landmark, an
ecclesiastical Eddystone in the unbillowy sea of the Cam-
pagna. This greatest of man's works, which would be
insignificant beside the works of God the Alps or the
nearer Apennines is here great, comparatively so, just as
a man of five feet stature would be a giant among Lilli-
putians of one. We speak not of its moral interest that
is superlative and enchaining; but of its material inches,
whereby it overtops almost every object within a circuit
of twenty miles. Look from any extremity of the Cam-
pagna to the centre, and St. Peter's, like a stone Saul,
over-measures all competing altitudes by the head and
lofty shoulders.

And this brings us, by a roundabout way possibly, to
the point at which we aim a comparative estimate of tlie
greatness of John Wesley by the littleness of the times in
which he lived. Our purpose has been too obvious, we
trust, to need the application of our figures. We mean
simply to imply that Wesley was that waterspout and
snowy spray-jet, roaring in the stillness of morning, and
arched over the calm surface of the sea on the gray can-
vass of the horizon ; Wesley that ice-crash rasping down
the mountain-side, startling the ear of silence in Helvetian
solitudes, upsetting the equilibrium of all things, shaking
the earth and air and the listener's frame, like the spasm
of an earthquake ; Wesley, in fine, that dome, " the vast



14 JOHN WESLEY.

and wondrous dome," lofty in proportions, perfect in sym-
metry, suspended in mid-air, by the happy conception of
him whose great thought, like all great thoughts, was
manifestly inspired, "a heavenly guest, a ray of immor-
tality," and which aerial pile, wander where we will within
its range, is the attracting centre of vision, the cynosure of
all eyes.

In the particular field Wesley took upon him to culti-
vate he stood alone, or almost alone, and his position adds
magnitude to all his dimensions. He fills the picture. It
were scarce exaggeration to travesty the Grand Louis's
terse egotism, "The State! that is, I," and put it into our
reformer's mouth at the commencement of his career
" Keligion ! that is, I." The religious sensibility of Eng-
land lay dead or chained in "the breathless, hushed, and
stony sleep" of the Princess Dormita and her retinue in
the fairy tale. He alone seemed awake to the exigencies
of the times, the responsibilities of the ministry, the cor-
ruption of manners, and the value of souls. This state-
ment will of course be understood with all the qualifica-
tion truth demands on behalf of some exemplary parish
clergymen who sparsely enlightened the darkness around
them, but who never passed into the broad sunshine of
general reputation or extensive influence. There were
those, we gladly own, who bowed not the knee to the
prevailing dissoluteness or indifference; but, like angels'
visits, these were few and far between. And it is not to
be denied that in many non-conformist places of worship,
under the combined influence of the persecutions of earlier
years, general contempt, and their close-borough constitu-
tion and government which took them out of the healthful
and conservative current of public opinion, vital religion



JOHN WESLEY. 15

was becoming a name, and the doctrine of the Cross pass-
ing into "another gospel" in which the Cross had no
place. Arianism, with stealthy steps, was creeping in
upon the fold of Presbyterianism " for to steal, and to kill,
and to destroy ;" while Independency either withered into
a cold protest against the established episcopacy, shot into
seed in the unhealthy luxuriance of hyper-Calvinism, or
was too insignificant to be of any account whatever in an
ecclesiastical notice of the period.

The general condition of the Church of England was
deplorable. There was no lack of learning and respecta-
bility in many quarters, but, as a whole, its state could not
satisfy a conscientious observer. The study of the Greek
language and the introduction of the theology of the Greek
school since the Reformation, together \tith various politi-
cal causes, had combined to produce a latitudinarian and
moderated style of preaching and acting among the
clergy at large. The best men were most entirely under
the influences we have named. Their learning, their
enlightened hatred of the fanaticism under the common-
wealth, and an honourable sense of the advantages of
their position, made them carefully shun the excesses of
non-conforming zeal, and generously avoid giving offence
to conscientious dissenters. The names of Tillotson and
Tennison, Doctors Samuel Clark and Jortin, will tolerably
fairly represent the reigning spirit of the better part of the
clerical body about the commencement of the eighteenth
century; while others were contented to be as devoid of
evangelical unction as they, without their accomplish-
ments and decent behaviour. But in the ministry of
souls moderation is madness, and want of zeal death.
Men betake themselves to a formal minister as they do to



16 JOHN WESLEY.

the grave-digger, an inevitable but unpleasant functionary,
whose services they never relish, and whose inane morali-
ties cannot edify. Such, unfortunately, was the ecclesias-
tical condition of England when the Wesleys arose, and it
is no breach of charity to aver, that, weighed in the
balances of heaven, the existing ministry throughout the
country was found at that period, as to its most exalted
aims and divine results, utterly wanting. We are not
blind to the subordinate advantages a widely-established
corporation of more or less educated men must entail
upon a land, men by their profession the friends of order,
decency, and humanity ; but at the same time we cannot
forget that the Church is neither a police-court, a philo-
sophical school, nor an almonry. Men may be mild
magistrates, wiseteachers, exemplary country gentlemen,
without fear and without reproach on the score of morals
and manners, and yet be destitute of the spirit of their
office and ignorant of its claims. We draw the veil over
anything worse which presents itself for comment in the
clerical profession at that period. There was enough in
the aspect of the times, even upon the most indulgent
showing, to make the mission of some such agent as John
Wesley a necessity as imperative as the mission of one of
the judges in the straits and abjectness of Israel, or the
requisitions of the economic law that the demand regu-
lates the supply.

In such circumstances was Providence nurturing a man
for the hour, while the hour was as divinely and obviously
prepared for the man. And neither from kingly courts
nor cloistered cells was the hero of " this strange eventful
history" to come the man that was to work wider change
upon the religious and social aspect of England than has



JOHN WESLEY. 17

ever been effected by any reformer since Christianity
visited our shores. In truth, his sympathies were neither
with the monk nor the monarch, but, a child of the peo-
ple, as all great reformers have been, his sympathies were
with the masses, the men from whom he sprung. He
was reared amid obscurity, poverty, and rebuke, rebuke
that implied no disgrace, poverty which piety hallowed,
obscurity that bred no discontent, and he never forgot the
discipline of his childhood nor the tradition of his poor but
godly parentage, and his heart ever found its most genial
soil amid the humble, holy, and enduring people of God.
Of ambition, with which he has been most recklessly
charged, he seems to have been absolutely incapable,
except the ambition of doing good. He had rather suffer
any day than shine. In fact, to suffer, if by that be meant
to labour to fatigue, and self-denial to austerity, became a
necessity of his nature, while to shine was as deliberately
rejected as this was pursued. And it was this thorough
oneness of mind, propension, and condition with the peo-
ple, which prompted and controlled his career. He looked
at the man through the frieze-jacket of careful thrift and
" the looped and windowed raggedness" of abject penury;
yea, he looked at him in the haunts of vice and the prison-
house of the criminal, and saw written upon him even
there, in indubitable presence, the image, though sorely
mutilated, of God, just as beneath the jewelled cap of
maintenance and the purple of nobility he saw no more.
Not knowing, therefore, or not heeding the distinctions
that obtain among men, the object of his ministry was
man. He was swayed by no class predilections, or unso-
cial partialities, save that his high sense of duty and the
special demands of his mission made him prevailingly the

2



18 JOHN WESLEY.

friend of the friendless and the comforter of the lowly.
In this aspect of his work his imitation of Christ was pre-
eminent, that his labour of love was specially consecrated
" to seek and to save that which was lost."

But we anticipate, and must glance at the boy Wesley,
and the circumstances which proved the Campus Martius
to train him for his lifelong conflict " with the rulers of
the darkness of this world, with spiritual wickedness in
high places."

Close bordering on the winding Trent, in one of the
richest portions of Lincolnshire, is the parish and manor
of Ep worth, the church standing upon an elevation reached
by a gentle ascent about four miles from the river, but
shaded from view by a shoulder of the hill. Right well
do we remember our pilgrimage to that spot a few short
months ago. The heavens smiled propitiously on our pur-
pose, for never did a brighter spring sun pour gladness
into the heart than that which shone upon us as we crept
blithely along the road that gradually swept up from the
ferry. Our sensations we will not attempt to describe, as
'we paced the pathway of the quiet old country town,
where the first relic we picked up was the characteristic
one of a torn page of the New Testament. Suffice it to
say, that it was with more than common emotion we
looked upon the font where the man whose genius made
the celebrity of the place had been baptized ; upon the
communion table where Wesley had often officiated, yet
whence he had been rudely repulsed by an intemperate
and ungrateful priest, who had owed his all to the Wes-
leys ; on the tombstone of his father, which on that occa-
sion and subsequently served the itinerant John for a
pulpit, from which he addressed weeping multitudes in



JOHN WESLEY. 19

the churchyard ; on the withered sycamore beneath whose
shade he must have played; and finally, through the
courtesy of the rector, the Hon. and Rev. Charles Dundas,
on the parsonage, now scarcely recognisable for the same
from the improvement it has received at the hand of
wealth guided by the eye of taste, though old Jeffrey's
room still retains much of its ghostliness. The day that
revealed to us all these and sundry memorabilities is one
to be noted with chalk in our calendar.

The lower ground of the isle of Axholme, in the midst
of which Epworth stands, had from time immemorial been
subject to almost constant submersion from the river, and
was little better than a Mere, the title Leland gives it in
his Itinerary. Its value, however, was so obvious to the
eyes of both natives and foreigners, that a charter to drain
this whole country side was given to Cornelius Yermuy-
den in the time of the Stuarts, and the thing was done, to
the rescue of a considerable part of the king's chase from
the dominion of the lawless waters, and to the increase of
the arable and pasture land of the neighbourhood, to the
extent of many thousand acres of "a fine rich brown loam,
than which there is none more fertile in England." To
this parish the father of our hero was presented in the
year 1693, as a reward for his merits in defending from
the press the Revolution of 1688. The living was of
inconsiderable amount, under 200 per annum, but by no
means contemptible to a waiter upon Providence, whose
clerical income had never before averaged 50 per year,
and was the more agreeable as it promised to lead to
something better, since the ground of his present advance-
ment was the recognition in high places of the opportune
loyalty of the literary parson. Here, with a regularly



20 JOHN WESLEY.

increasing family, without any corresponding increase of
stipend, the exemplary rector laboured for ten years ere
the birth of his son John, " contending with low wants
and lofty will," with the dislike and opposition of his
unruly parishioners, with his own chafed tempers and
disappointed expectations, with serious inroads upon his
income by fire and flood, and with the drag-chain of a
poverty that pressed upon the means of subsistence, and
which his literary labours availed little to lighten.

Our sympathies gather round the "busy bee" whose
active industry and zeal could not shield his hive from
spoliation and misfortune, while many a contemporary
drone surfeited in abundance, and wore out a useless life
in luxury, self-indulgence, and criminal ease. Ere his son
John, the future father of Methodism, had completed his
third year, the rector of Ep worth was in jail for debt.
The exasperation of party, which he took no means to
allay, but rather chafed and provoked, for he gloried in
his "Church and State politics," being "sufficiently ele-
vated" brought down upon him the unmanly vengeance
of his creditors, and they spited their political opponent
by throwing him into prison. This affliction brought him
friends, who succeeded in procuring his release after an
incarceration of some months, but neither enlarged his
resources nor increased liis prudence. He seems to have
been a stem if a faithful pastor, and when called to
encounter prejudices, to have met them with prejudices
as virulent of his own.

Into such a home as all this bespeaks, needy but not
sordid, poverty-stricken yet garnished by high principle
and dogged resolution, full of anxieties for temporal pro-
vision, yet free from the discontent that dishonours God,



JOHN WESLEY. 21

was John Wesley ushered, on the 17th of June, 1703.
For all that made the comfort of that home, the joy of
his childhood and the glory of his riper years, the great



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