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• Whose fault is this? Is it ours? Or your own ? Why have not thousands more been reformed ? Yea, for every one who is now turned to God, why are there not ten thousand ? Because you and your associates laboured so heartily in the cause of hell : because you and they spared no pains, either to prevent or to destroy the work of God. By using all the power and wisdom you had, you hindered thousands from hearing the gospel, which they might have found to be the power of God unto salvation. Their blood is upon your heads. By inventing, or countenancing, or retailing lies, some refined, some gross and palpable, you hindered others from profiting by what they did hear. You are answerable to God for these souls also. Many who began to taste the good word and run the way of God's commandments, by various methods you prevailed on to hear it no more. So they soon drew back to perdition. But know, that for every one of these also, God will require an account of you in the day of judgment !

• And yet in spite of all the malice, and wisdom, and strength, not only of men, but • of principalities and powers,' of the rulers of the darkness of this world, of the wicked spirits in high places ;' there are thousands found, who are turned from dumb idols to serve the living and true God.' What a harvest then might we have seen before now, if all who say they are on the Lord's side,' had come, as in all reason they ought, to the help of the Lord against the mighty ? Yea, had they only not opposed the work of God, had they only re-' frained from his messengers, might not the trumpet of God have been heard long since, in every corner of our land? And thousands of sinners in every county, been brought to fear God and honour the king ??'

44. Without any regard to this, your next assertion is, That the Methodists are “carrying on the work of popery,” (Sect. 21, p. 164, &c.) This also being a charge of a very high nature, I shall particularly consider whatever you advance in defence of it.

Your first argument is, “ They have a strain of Jesuitical sophistry, artifice, and craft, evasion, reserve, equivocation, and prevarication.” So you say.

But
you

do not so much as aim at any proof. Your second argument is, “Mr. Wesley says, where a Methodist was receiving the sacrament, God was pleased to let him see a crucified Saviour.” “Sir, Mr. W. does not say this. It is one that occasionally wrote to him. But if he had, what would you infer? That he is a papist? Where is the consequence? Why, you say, “ was not this as good an argument for transubstantiation, as several produced by the papists ?” Yes, exactly as good as either their arguments or yours. That is, just good for nothing.

Your third argument runs thus, “We may see in Mr. W.'s writings that he was once a strict churchman, but gradually put on a more catholic spirit, tending at length to Roman catholic. He rejects any design to convert others, from any communion ; and consequently not from popery."

This is half true, (which is something uncommon with you,) and only half false. It is true, that for thirty years last past, I have “ gradually put on a more catholic spirit," finding more and more tenderness for those who differed from me, either in opinions or modes of worship. But it is not true, that I “ reject any design of converting others from any communion.” I have by the blessing of God converted several from popery, who are now alive and ready to testify it.

Your fourth argument is, That in a collection of prayers, I cite the words of an ancient liturgy, · for the faithful departed.' Sir, whenever I use those words in the burial service, I pray to the same effect. That we, with all those who are departed in thy faith and fear, may have our perfect consummation of bliss, both in body and soul.' Yea, and whenever I say, Thy kingdom come;' for I mean both the kingdom of grace and glory. In this kind of general prayer, therefore, for the faithful departed, I conceive myself to be clearly justified, both by the earliest antiquity, by the Church of England, and by the Lord's prayer; although the Papists have corrupted this scriptural practice, into praying for those who die in their sins.

* 45. Your fifth argument is, that “they use private confession, in which every one is to speak the state of his heart, with his several temptations and deliverances, and answer as many searching questions as may be. And what a scene, say you, is hereby disclosed ! What a filthy jakes opened, when the most searching questions are answered without reserve ?” Hold, Sir, unless you are answering for yourself. This undoubtedly you have a right to do. You can tell best what is in your heart. And I cannot deny what you say: it may be a very filthy jakes, for aught I know. But pray do not measure others by yourself. The hearts of believers are purified through faith.' When these open their hearts one to another, there is no such scene disclosed. Yet temptations to pride in various kinds, to self-will, to unbelief in many instances, they often feel in themselves, (whether they give any place to them or not) and occasionally disclose to their brethren.

But this has no resemblance to Popish confession; of which you are very sensible. For you cite my own words : The Popish conjession is the confession made by a single person to a priest. Whereas this is, the confession of several persons conjointly, not to a priest, but to each other.' You add, “Will Mr. W. abide by this, and freely answer a question?” I will. For I desire only • by manifestation of the truth, to commend myself to every man's conscience in the sight of God.'

Your question is “ Af er private confessions taken in their bands, are not reports made to Mr. W. ?" į answer, no: No reports are made to me, of the par iculars mentioned in private lands. “ Are no delinquents, male and female, brought before him separately, and confessed by him?" No: none at all. You ask, “ How then do !

know the outward and inward states of those under my care ?” I answer, by examining them once a quarter, more or less, not separately, but ten or fifteen together. Therefore every unprejudiced person must see that there is no analogy between the Popish confession to a priest, and our confessing our faults one to another, and praying one for another,' as St. James directs. Consequently neither does this argument, though urged with all your art and force, amount to any shadow of proof, that “ the Methodists are carrying on the work of popery.”

46. Your sixth argument, such as it is, stands thus. " Another tendency to Popery appears, by the notion of a single drop of Christ's blood being a sufficient atonement for the sins of the whole world.' For however pious this may appear, it is absolutely false and papistical.” Sir, this argument is perfectly new, and entirely your own. It were great pity to disturb you in the enjoyment of it.

A seventh argument you ground on those words in the Plain Account of the People called Methodists, . It is a point we chiefly insist upon, that orthodoxy or right opinions, is a very slender part of religion, if any part of it at all.' “ The plain consequence whereof is (so you affirm) that teaching and believing the fundamental errors of popery, with the whole train of their abominations and idolatries, are of

very little moment, if any.” Strain again, Sir: pull hard; or 'you will never be able to drag this conclusion out of these premises.

I assert, •1. That in a truly religious man, right opinions are a very slender part of religion. 2. That in an irreligious, a profane man, they are not any part of religion at all: such a man not being one jot more religious, because he is orthodox.' Sir, it does not follow from either of these propositions, that wrong opinions are not an hinderance to religion: and much less, that “teaching and believing the fundamental errors of popery, with the whole train of their abominations and idolatries, (practised, I presume you mean, as well as taught and believed,) are of very little moment, if any." I am so far from saying or thinking this, that in my printed Letter to a Priest of that communion, (did you never read it, or hear of it before ?) are these express words, • I pity you much, having the same assurance, that Jesus is the Christ, and that no Romanist can expect to be saved, according to the terms of his covenant.' (Third Journal, Vol, 1. p. 278.) Do you term, this “ An extenuation of their abominations ? A reducing them to almost a mere nothing."

47. You argue, eighthly, thus : “ The Methodist doctrine of impressions and assurances, holds equally for popish enthusiasts.” This needs no answer ; I have already shown that the Methodist doctrine in these respects is both scriptural and rational.

Your ninth argument is, “ Their sudden conversions stand upon the same footing with the popish.” You should say, " Are a proof that they are promoting popery." I leave you to enjoy this argument also. But the dreadful one you reserve for the last, namely, our “re: commending popish books. One is the life of Mr. de Renty, oi which Mr. Wesley has published an extract.” To prove your inimitable fairness here, you scrape up again all the trash, wherein the weak writer of that life abounds, and which I had pared off and thrown away. Sir, could you find nothing to your purpose in the Extract itself ? I fancy you might; for I have purposely left in two or three particulars, to show of what communion he was, which I did not think it right to conceal.

You go on. "Francis of Sales is another papist, much commended by Mr. W.; and who, he doubts not, is in Abraham's bosom. He is the Methodist's bosom friend." I believe he is in Abraham's bosom. But he is no bosom-friend of the Methodists. I question whether one in five hundred of them have so much as heard his name. And as for me, neither do I “commend him much, nor recommend” him at all. His life I never saw, nor any of his works, but his Introduction to a Holy Life. This the late Dr. Nichols translated into English, published and strongly recommended. Theretore, if this be a proof of promoting popery, that censure falls not on me, but him.

I have now considered all the arguments you have brought to prove, “ That the Methodists are carrying on the work of popery." And I am persuaded, every candid man, who rightly weighs what has been said, with any degree of attention, will clearly see not only that no one of those arguments is of any real force at all, but that you do not believe yourself; you do not believe the conclusion, which you make as if you would prove. Only you keep close to your laudable resolution of throwing as much dirt as possible.

48. It remains only to gather up some of your fragments, as still further proofs of your integrity. You graciously say, “I do not lay much stress upon the charge of some of the angry Moravians against Mr. W. and his brother, for preaching popery." Sir, if you had, you would only have hurt yourself. For, 1. The Moravians never, that I know of, brought this charge at all. 2. When Mr. C. and two other predestinarians (these were the persons) affirmed, “ they had heard both my brother and me preach popery,” they meant neíther more nor less thereby, than the doctrine of universal redemption. “Some connexion between the doctrines of the Methodists and Papists, hath been shown through this whole comparison." Shown! But how? By the same art of wiredrawing and deciphering, which would prove an equal connexion between the Methodists and Mahometans.

“ Jesuits have often mingled, and been the ringleaders among our enthusiastic sectaries.” Sir, I am greatly obliged to you for your compliment, as well as for your parallel of Mr. Faithful Commin. And pray, Sir, at what time do you think it was, that I first “mingled with those enthusiastic sectaries? When I came back from Germany? Or when I returned from Georgia ? Or while I was at Lincoln College ?-Although the plot itself might be laid before, when I was at Christ Church, or at the Charter-house school.

- But “a Jesuit's or enthusiast's declaring against popery, is no test of their sincerity.” Most sure ; nor is a nameless person's declaring against Methodism, any proof that he is not a Jesuit. I remember well, when a well-dressed man, taking his stand not far from Moorfields, had gathered a large company, and was vehemently asserting, That “those rogues, the Methodists, were all Papists :" till a gentleman coming by, fixed his eye on him and cried, “Stop that man: I know him personally: he is a Romish priest.”

I know not that any thing remains on this head, which bears so much as the face of an argument. So that of all the charges you have brought (and truly you have not been sparing) there is not one wherein your proof falls more miserably short, than in this, That “the Methodists are advancing popery."

49. I have at length gone through your whole performance, weighed whatever you cite from my writings, and shown at large how far those passages are from proving all, or any part of your charge. So that all you attempt to build on them, of the pride and vanity of the Methodists, (sect. 3,) of their shuffling and prevaricating, (s. 4,) of their affectation of prophesying, (s. 5,) laying claim to the miraculous favours of heaven, (s. 6,) unsteadiness of temper, (s. 9,) unsteadiness in sentiment and practice, (s. 11,) art and cunning, (s. 12,) giving up inspiration and extraordinary calls, (s. 13,) skepticism, infidelity, atheism, (s. 14,) uncharitableness to their opponents, (s. 15, &c.) contempt of order and authority, (s. 18,) and fierce, rancorous quarrels with each other, (s. 19, &c.) of the tendency of Methodism to undermine morality and good works, (s. 20,) and to carry on the good work of popery :(s. 21,) all this fabric falls to the ground at once, unless you can find some better foundation to support it.

50. These things being so, what must all unprejudiced men think of you and your whole performance? You have advanced a charge, not against one or two persons only, but indiscriminately against a whole body of people, of his Majesty's subjects, Englishmen, protestants, members I suppose of your own church: a charge containing abundance of articles, and most of them of the highest and blackest nature. You have prosecuted this with unparalleled bitterness of spirit and acrimony of language ; using sometimes the most coarse, rude, scurrilous terms, sometimes the keenest sarcasms you could devise. The point you have steadily pursued in thus prosecuting this charge, is, first, To expose the whole people to the hatred and scorn of all mankind; and next, to stir up the civil powers against them. And when this charge comes to be fairly weigbed, there is not a single article of it true! The passages you cite to make it good, are one and all, such as prove nothing less than the points in question : most of them such as you have palpably maimed, corrupted, and. strained to a sense never thought of by the writer; many of them such as are flat against you, and overthrow the very point they are brought to support. What can they think, but that this is the most

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