« AnteriorContinuar »
3. Wherein do you take up your cross daily? Do you cheerfully bear your cross, however grievous to nature, as a gift of God, and labour to profit thereby?
4. Do you endeavour to set God always before you? To see his eye continually fixed upon you ? Never can you use these means but a blessing will ensuc. And the more you use them, the more you will
Rules by which we should continue
or desist from Preaching at any glace.
Quest. 1. Is it advisable for us to preach in as many places as we can, without forming any societies?
Ans. By no means : We have made the trial in various places; and that for a considerable time. But the seed has fallen by the way side. There is scarce any fruit remaining
Quest. 2. Where should we en deavour to preach most?
Ansu'. 1. Where there is the greatest number of quiet and willing hearers.
2. Where there is most fruit.
Quest. 3. Ought we not diligently to observe, in what places God is pleased at any time to pour out his Spirit more abundantly?
Ansio. We ought : And at that time to send niore labourers than usual into that part of the harvest.
of visiting from House to House, guarding against those things that are so common to Professors, and enforcing Practical Religion.
Quest. 1. How can we further assist those under our care?
Answè. 1. By instructing them at their own houses. What unspeakable need is there of this! The world says,
“ The Methodists are no better than other people.” This is not true in the general : But, 1. Personal religion, either toward God or man, is too superficial amongst us. We can but just touch on a few particu
lars. How little faith is there among us? How little communion with God? How little living in hea. ven, walking in eternity, deadness to every creature? How much love of the world? Desire of pleasure, of ease, of getting money? How little brotherly love? What continual judging one another? What gossipping, evil speaking, tale bearing? What want of moral honesty ? To instance only one particular? who does as he would be done by, in buying and selling?
2. Family religion is wanting in many branches. And what avails public preaching alone, thongh we could preach like angels? We must, yea, every travelling preacher must instruct the people from house to house. Till this be done, and that in good earnest, « the Methodists will be no better than other people."
Our religion is not deep, universal, uniform: but superficial, partial, uneven. It will be so till we spend half as much time in this visiting, as we now do in talking uselessly. Can we find a better method of do. ing this than Mr. Baxter's? If not, let us adopt it without delay. His whole traet, entitled Gildas Salvia. nus, is well worth a careful perusal. Speaking of this visiting from house to house, he says, (p. 351.) “ We shall find many hindranees, both in ourselves and the people."
1. In ourselves there is much dal. ness and laziness, so that there will be much ado to-get us to be faithful in the work.
2. We have a base, man-pleasing temper, so that we let them perish rather than lose their love : we let them go quietly to hell, lest we should offend them.
3. Some of us have also a foolish bashfulness. We know not how to begin, and blush to contradict the devil.
4. But the greatest hindrance is weakness of faith. Our whole motion is weak, because the spring of it is weak.
5. Lastly, we are unskilful in the work. How few know how to deal with men, so as to get within thein, and suit all our discourse to their several conditions and tempers: To
choose the fittest subjects, and fol. low them with a holy mixture of seriousness, terror, love and meekness ?
But undoubtedly this private applica ion is implied in those solemn words of the apostle, I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing, preach the word ; be instant in season, out of season : Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering.
0 brethren, if we could but set this work on foot in all our societies, and prosecute it zealouslġ, what glory would redound to God! If the common lukewarmness weré banislıcd, and every shop and every house busied in speaking of the word and works of God; surely God would dwell in our habitations, and make us his delight.
And this is absolutely necessary to the welfare of our people, some of whom neither repent nor believe to this day. Look round, and see how many
of them are still in apparent danger of damnation, And how