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fruits." In sum, “the Princess Palatine is totally changed in an instant."'*

Can the warmest advocates for immediate and miraculous conversion bring forward a stronger instance of such a transmutation? The subject of it had all the qualifications which they usually consider as the proper requisites for divine interposition; she was an abandoned profligate, an avowed infidel, who made a mockery of religion, and violated its laws : in her, therefore, the favourite rule of Methodism was exemplified, The greater the sinner, the greater the saint.. .

The manner of it is no less congènial with the principles of this Protestant sect; the use of reason, in examining the truth of Christianity, was entirely set aside. Without any reformation on her part, or even a wish, so far as it appears, to renounce her wicked habits; she was suddenly illuminated, changed, subdued; by a miracle equal to that which convinced the great iapostle of his ' mistaken but conscientious zeal. So that neither her intellect, 'nor her will; no honest intention, no moral principle, no exercise of any human faculty, concurred in the least degree with this extraordinary operation of the spirit. It agrees in all respects with the motives of those blind and deluded men, who attribute the abuse of an arbitrary and capricious power, to that holy being, whom the prophet addressed in

* Bossuets Oraison Funebre d'Anne de Gonzague.

language of a very different import: “ The way of the just is uprightness: thou most upright dost weigh the path of the just.” * ! Let it be remarked, however, by the advacates of irrespective grace, that the object of it in this case, was led by her illumination to embrace all the superstitions of the Romish church; and that she proved her devotion to them by leaving to the benedictines of St. Germain, "the wood of the true and holy cross, which I protest,"' she says, “ that I have seen in the flames, without being burned. I also give them the miraculous blood, &c. I also give the abbey of St. Germain, the reliques," &c. &c. t;":{:

The same convert who attested soo absurd a falsehood, and bequeathed these instruments of idolatrous worship, with a firm persuasion that she asserted the cause of truth; felt also an undoubting assurance that she was under the divine protection. .

. , 12 “ I found myself," she says, “supported by a hope as stedfast and tranquil as if I had heard even from an angel, that God would not abandon me.”+ Now we would ask those religious persons, who depend with implicit faith on the testimony of their feelings, what stronger conviction of supernatural influence they can entertain, than that which deluded this unhappy woman? And whether, since the grossest errors of the Roman Catholics are cherished by the * Isaiah xxvi. 7. + Oraison Funebre, &c.

same sentiments as prevail among the Methodists, * it be not reasonable to conclude, that the presumption of the one is equally fallacious with the confidence of the other. If this be still a question, let it be examined by one test which may be deemed infallible. St. John hath pronounced this positive decision : “ If a man say, I love God, and hateth his mother, he is a liar." + Had the high claims of inspiration, asserted by 'the founders of the new church, been tried by this simple rule, the, uncharitable rancour which tinctured their intemperate zeal, would have proved them to be impudent and false.

The fortunate impotence of those enthusiasts seems alone to have exempted them from that merited ignominy which the defence of religious opinions, by the arms of persecution, has always ultimately incurred. Their anathemas are as contradictory to their own professions, as to the gospel of Jesus Christ. “ Read Mr. Wesley's Character of a Methodist,” says Bishop Lavington, " and the love of God has purified his heart 'from every unkind temper, and malign affection, from all revengeful passions, envy malice, and wrath. He cannot utter an unkind word of any one: but read his controversial

* In the Fourth Pastoral Letter of Bishop Gibson, their chimerical pretensions are exposed in their true colours ; but it is unnecessary to inultiply instances of that extraordinary enthusiasm which is already sufficiently evinced.

+ 1 John iv. 20.

writings with his opposers, and all these fine professions are vanished and contradicted, and that in some of his latest performances. For not to repeat their calumnies against their brethren, nor to regard Mr. Whitfield's rant, That all morality set up in opposition to his, shall, sink with its professors into hell, &c. let any one but look into the latter part of Mr. Wesley's Further Appeal, and he will find enough of

uncharitable and damnatory clauses, dispatching · all mankind to hell, (as far as lies in human

power,) who are not Methodists. All their opposers are labouring heartily in the cause of hell; they are blasphemous, openly fighting against God, fight under the devil's banner, are taking part with the devil against God.”

Whitfield in his Fourth Journal, p. 32, says, “ Preached this evening at Kennington Common :God gave me great power, and I never opened my mouth so freely against the letter-learned clergy of the church of England. I should not die in peace unless I bore my testimony against them.-Woe be unto such blind leaders of the blind, how can you escape the damnation of hell ?” *

“The scarlet whore of Babylon,” says Mr. Seward, Journal, p. 71, “is not more corrupt in principle or practice, than the church of England." But what a wickedness is it to throw out

* Enthusiasm of Papists and Methodists compared, part II. p. 86, 87.

so much gall and bitterness against persons whose ehief power of doing good, and promoting the common salvation, depends upon their character? And how much more to impute this black art of calumny to the spirit and power given from God?” *

What extenuation or excuse can be offered for such anti-christian sentiments by those who profess to respect the new commandment of our divine teacher, and to believe that “ God is love," we are at a loss to imagine. But the modern Methodists may say, what have we to do with the errors of Whitfield, or Wesley : are we accountable for their excesses ? Certainly the disciples of Mr. Rowland Hill are not answerable for the outrageous folly of his great precursor; no more are the Jesuits for the chivalrous fanaticism of Ignatius Loyola ; nor the Anabaptists for the anti-social, rebellious, and immoral tenets of Munter and Matthias ; nor the disciples of Emanuel Swedenborg, for his Extatic Reveries: But inasmuch as the new evangelist of the present day treads in the steps of his vehement predecessor, wears his mantle, propagates the peculiar dogmas of his creed, and lays claim to the same extraordinary gifts; since he asserts that the new birth is effected, not by the baptismal covenant, but by some emotion sensibly communicated to the soul; since he pronounces damnation or absolution with the same plenary

* Id. part I. p. 13.

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