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zealous friend of religion, not to say as a Dissenter, in which capacity, though very decided, he was very moderate. For religion's sake, he took so much interest in the state of the established church, as to be greatly delighted in beholding the progress of the serious spirit and of evangelical doctrines in its ministry ; disagreeing in this, however, it is true, with an immense number of the zealous adherents of that very church, both at that earlier and at this later period. From that time to this, the main strength of the church,—for we suppose we cannot be incorrect in thus denominating so vast a preponderance of the numbers, the learning, the state patronage, and the importance in society on the score of rank and family,—the main strength of the church has been systematically and violently hostile to the innovation which such men as Dr. Fawcett rejoiced to behold. While he was exulting in what he thought the happy effects resulting, in his own previously barbarous and wicked neighbourhood, from the irruption of such men as Whitefield and Grimshaw, he observed that no names were pronounced with so much abhorrence by whatever constituted the living ministry, and agency, and authority of the church. The great body of the authorized teachers to whom a protestant Christian state had committed millions of souls for instruction in their most momentous concerns, were all but unanimous in pronouncing the doctrine of these zealous men respecting the necessity of a moral change in men's minds, to be nonsensical and pernicious, and the general effect of their labours a grievous plague introduced into the community. They deplored the departure of those better times in which the prevailing ignorance, barbarism, and irreligion experienced no such alarming disturbance. What a subject for awful contemplation this must have been to a man of enlightened and evangelical spirit, who could feel no value or veneration for institutions, but in regard to the good they were adapted to do, and who could conceive no other way of judging of adaptation so reasonable, as by the actual effect habitually and generally produced ! No wonder that persons awakened to this view and feeling
of the subject, by the influence of the grand innovation, should have become Dissenters, where they found the church all around them estranged from Christianity; or where, after the death or removal of a minister, in some rare instance himself transformed into an advocate of evangelical truth, it has been found quite out of all hope that there should be a successor of similar spirit. It might be with great pain and reluctance that they were brought to the determination of detaching themselves from an institution revered by their ancestors, who had taught them also to revere it, and which was sanctioned by almost all that were of authority in the land; but it became a solemn question, how they could in conscience practically acquiesce, for themselves, their families, and their neighbourhoods, in a corrupt and perverting discipline of their minds in regard to the supreme concern of their salvation. To one portion, indeed, of these conscientious men, there was afforded a compromise. Those who had not so decidedly adopted the Calvinism of Whitefield as to be debarred from the resource, found in the system of Wesley a very commodious intermediate position for maintaining, as they fancied, and as their able leader intended, such an allegiance, in form, to the church, as to escape the guilt and charge of schism, and at the same time for enjoying the genuine means of religious communion and instruction. This self-deception was among the most effectual of the early causes of the great success of the Wesleyan plan. There were other powerful ones, but this was among the most powerful. We have used the word “self-deception,” for we should think nothing could be more palpably evident than that those were most certainly Dissenters, who expressly placed and prosecuted their system under the protection of the laws and regulations appointed in behalf of Dissenters, and who could not have carried on that system in any other way. And we think it has been very justly remarked by the authors of the “ History of Dissenters,” that the Wesleyan Methodists, to whose wide and zealous exertions and incalculable usefulness there needs no testimony of ours,--have been very
to manifest an equitable disposition toward the original avowed Dissenters ; inasmuch as, during the greater part of their progress, they have affected to disclaim the Dissenters, to stand on a different and as it were half consecrated ground, within the precincts of the church, and on this ground to disallow the imputation of schism, alleging that they were not among the deserters and the enemies of the church, when all the while they owed their existence with impunity to the protective institutes, the attainment and prolongation of which had cost the Dissenters a long account of great exertions and deep sufferings,-and when, too, the only thanks obtained from the church for this pretended adherence, this disclaimer of combination with the Dissenters, were scorn and detestation.
Pastoral Memorials ; Selected from the Manuscripts of the late Rer.
John Ryland, D. D. of Bristol ; with a Memoir of the Author. 8vo. 2 vols.
A PENSIVE and somewhat mournful sentiment is often excited, in seeing how the memory of good men fades away in the places, and the portions of the community, where they may have been very considerably distinguished for piety, ability, and usefulness. timent is felt especially by those few of their survivors who may have been nearly their coevals, who had the longest known and valued them, and have lingered behind them a considerable number of years. The less and less frequent mention of them in the social circles, the diminishing number of sentences, the easy despatch, in recalling and dismissing their characters and actions, the indications in various ways how transient the regrets have been for their loss, awaken in the minds of these survivors, at some moments, a disconsolate reflection, how easily even a valuable human being can be spared ; and admonish them to prepare for being themselves, ere long, recollected without emotion, and, at length, withdrawn from remembrance. Respecting them also, after a while, their survivors, who have esteemed them, will have to make the same reflections, and with the like anticipations again for themselves. And thus, through the succession of human existence, one generation, in dismissing another from its sight, is dismissing it also from its affections and thoughts. This may be an impressive admonition to look forward to a state, and a society where the individuals are not departing and forgotten, but are held by one another in ever-living presence and permanent attachment; and not to be looking back, indulging a melancholy and mortifying sentiment, to think how soon and easily our places on earth, when we shall have left them, will be filled up, and the interest with which we may have been regarded among fellow-mortals, be reduced to a faint reminiscence, dwindling by degrees to the mere record of a name, and that at last obliterated.
While, however, so many men deservedly esteemed in their own times and places, for their virtues and useful abilities, have been subject to this common lot, it was indispensable there should appear, in the progress of time, some good men, so eminently surpassing the rest in talents, or having their appointment so critically in opportune seasons, sometimes both, as to be memorable through ages ; redeeming in a measure the character of the race, and shining forth in contrast and counteraction to the great men who have been the moral plagues of the world. That order of gradation, from less to greater, which obtains in every class of beings through the creation, exists in man, under the striking circumstance that, his nature being corrupted, a very great majority of the individuals have always been evil, in each rank in that gradation. It is an awful fact in the history of the world, that the far greater proportion of men who remain permanent in its record as eminent in the possession and exertion of mental power, have been the agents of depravity in all its various modes-propagators of error, corruptors of morals, inciters to nischief, inflictors of *misery-baleful luminaries, or gigantic destroyers. But, that the fortunes of the race might not be surrendered wholly to such hands, it has pleased the Divine Providence, that a proportion of individuals, of the first order of talent, together with others whose subordinate ability might be brought into operation with great effect, under the advantage of favourable conjunctures of circumstances, should from time to time come on the scene in the opposite character, as the defenders and expositors of truth, as distinguished examples of piety, and as originators and promoters of beneficent designs. To some of these is applicable, in its limited sense, the assertion, that “ the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” And