The Journal of Mr. Charles Wesley, which is placed the first in order, contains an artless but spirited account of his labours and sufferings in Georgia, accompanied by many interesting notices respecting the colony; his return to England, as the bearer of dispatches from the Governor, with a description of some singular characters that came under his observation during the voyage; the manner in which he was led to a practical reception of the doctrine of present salvation from sin by faith in the Lord Jesus. From this time, it will be found that his character was entirely changed. He was no longer the anxious, perplexed, and disappointed inquirer after peace and holiness; wishing to die, because, while he earnestly sought these blessings, he found them not; supposing that a joyous certainty of acceptance with God, and of conformity to His will, is unattainable in this life. Instead of singing, in a tone of pensiveness and despair, as he had formerly done,
"Doubtful and insecure of bliss,
Since Death alone confirms me His,"

he now possessed the inward and abiding witness of his personal adoption, and exclaimed, with holy thankfulness,

"No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine !
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the' eternal throne,
And claim the crown through Christ my own."

Instead of being "carnal, and sold under sin," he felt that, "to be spiritually minded is life and peace." This great salvation from the guilt, the misery, and the power of sin, the faith by which it is obtained, the penitence by which it is preceded, and the practical holiness which is invariably consequent upon it, formed the chief subjects of his effective ministry, which ended only with his life.

His laborious zeal and his success, as an Itinerant Evangelist, which may be gathered from the subsequent parts of his Journal, have seldom been equalled, and perhaps in no instance surpassed, at least since the apostolic times. They place him on a level with his honoured brother, and their common friend Mr. Whitefield. In London, Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Wales,--among the miners of Cornwall, Kingswood, Staffordshlre, Yorkshire, and the north,-- among the Romanists of Dublin, and of the south and west of Ireland,--his labours were abundant, his persecutions and privations severe, and his success was most encouraging. Many of the Wesleyan societies in those places were formed by him at the hazard of his llfe; and his Journal, with that of his brother, will supply ample materials for a history of Methodism, which is greatly needed, and which it is hoped some person of competent abilltles and leisure will at no distant period undertake.

There is one subject of painful interest in the Journal, upon which it is requisite to offer a remark,--the separation of the two Wesleys from the Moravian Brethren, to whom they were both indebted, under God, for correct views concerning the nature and method of salvation, and therefore for their religious enjoyments. It cannot be denied that some persons of leading influence among the Moravians, then in England, held and propagated grievous errors respecting the ordinances of religion, by means of which not a few persons lost the fervent piety by which they had been distinguished. The abettors of these errors the Wesleys felt it their duty, in all faithfulness, to withstand, and to warn their children in the Lord against them. On this subject the testimonies of the brothers are in perfect agreement. It is, however, due to the Moravian body to state, that the men who propagated these errors departed from the recognised creed of the Church to which they belonged; so that the Church should not be held responsible for their peculiar tenets; except in this, that the offending parties were silently tolerated, and not subjected to the rebuke and correction which they merited, and which every church is bound to administer in cases of this kind. The doctrine of the Moravian Church, in respect of Christian ordinances, as it is expounded by Spangenberg and La Trobe,* does not appear at all to differ from the doctrine of other Protestant communities; so that the "stillness" which Molther and some of his associates inculcated, and which consisted in abstinence from prayer, from reading the Scriptures, and from attending the public preaching of the Gospel, was not less opposed to the tenets of their own Church, than it was to the judgment of the Wesleys. The evils which resulted from it were great; so that strong and decisive measures in opposition to it were indispensable.

The Correspondence of Mr. Chexles Wesley, which immediately follows the Journal, consists mostly of letters which were addressed to his wife in Bristol, when he was fulfilling his ministerial duties in London. These artless epistles, which were written without the slightest apprehension that they would ever be published, and which express the undisguised sentiments of his heart, are conceived to be of inestimable value. To a great extent they supply the deficiencies of the Journal; for they record the writer's feelings and labours when the Journal was discontinued. They prove that when he had become the head of a family, and ceased to travel through England and Ireland as he had formerly done, his zeal still burned with an ardent and steady flame; conversions under his word were numerous; he freely sacrificed the pleasures of domestic life for considerable periods of time, when the necessities of the people required his absence from home; the unction of God still rested upon him; and the effusions of divine influence which came upon him and his congregations, especially when they were engaged in their sacramental services, were powerful, frequent, and refreshing; so that the people knew not how to separate. The Pastor entered fully into the spirit of devotion, so as to have power with God; the communicants sympathized with him in his pleading importunity; and all felt that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Of these seasons of special visitation and blessing, Mrs. Wesley was often apprized by her absent lord.

[* An Exposition of Christian Doctrine, as taught in the Protestant Church of the United Brethren. Written in German, by August Gottlieb Spangenberg; with a Preface, by Benjamin La Trobe. 8 vo. 1796.]

These domestic letters bespeak the hand and heart of the husband and of the father, and convey a favourable impression of the writer in both these sacred relations. They manifest his uninterrupted concern for the health and comfort of his wife, and above all for her spiritual welfare. His pious inquiries concerning her religious progress, the encouragements which he suggests to stimulate her faith, his kind and delicate promptings of her to prayer, and especially secret prayer, his tender questionings respecting his infant children, and his suggestions concerning the Christian management of them as their mental faculties expanded, are honourable to him, and contain many lessons of great practical importance to all who sustain the same relations. His wife and children he regarded as a trust committed to him by God; and he was anxious to resign his trust with acceptance and joy.

His letters also show, in an incidental manner, something of the esteem and affection with which he was regarded by an extensive circle of intelligent Christians, among whom were several of the most eminent Ministers of the age, especially the evangelical Clergy; such as Venn of Clapham, Romaine of St. Ann's, Jones of Southwark, and Madan of the Lock chapel, before he had ruined his reputation and usefulness by his speculations on polygamy.

The selections from the author's poetry, which follow next in order, reflect great honour upon his genius. Notwithstanding the sameness of the subjects which they embrace, and the occasions upon which they were written, they present a beautiful variety both of sentiment and expression. They exhibit, with no less distinctness, the tenderness and piety of his personal friendships, and the spirit of the people whose characters were formed under his ministry and that of his fellow-labourers. Happy the men whose preaching was followed by such results ! who saw among their own spiritual children persons who adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour, by their spirit and deportment, in all the relations of social and domestic life, and then passed to the companionship of angels and of glorified saints with the very language of heaven upon their lips.

Some of these poetical compositions were never before printed; and the rest have been hitherto known by only a very limited number of readers; most of them having been out of print more than half a century, and others of them for twice that period. They show how the Methodist Christians, who were in religious fellowship with the Wesleys, lived and died a century ago. In the beautiful and expressive lines of the venerable Charles Wesley, these devout people still speak, reminding the members of the living church of their high privilege and calling, and beckoning them to the heaven which is provided for them.

The second series of poetical selections mostly refer to facts which are recorded in the Journal and Correspondence, and therefore serve to illustrate the author's personal history. They express, in his own inimitable manner, the spirit of faith, of patience, and of holy zeal, in which he laboured and suffered as a Christian Evangelist and Pastor, who was intrusted with the Gospel message and the care of souls.

The Editor of these volumes cherishes a feeling of lively satisfaction in sending them forth into the world, persuaded as he is of their tendency to promote true spiritual religion; "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." They exhibit the power of evangelical truth, and the signs which follow, when it is preached by men of faith and prayer. Why should not conversions be as numerous in the congregations of the present age, as they were in the days of the Wesleys? Gospel truth is the same; the mercy and power of Christ have suffered no diminution; the grace of the Holy Spirit is as omnipotent as it ever was; the ordinances of day and night shall cease sooner than the word of the living God shall fail; the gracious covenant of God still remains in force, so that fervent and believing prayer is as prevalent as it was even in the apostolic times. 0 for a return of those days when in every religious assembly the power of the Lord was signally present, to wound the consciences of the impenitent, to heal the broken in heart, to comfort and sanctify those who had through grace believed ! Let all who are interested in the cause of Christianity remember, that the irrevocable word which secures the future enlargement of the church has passed the lips of Him who cannot lie.
Faith, mighty faith the promise sees,
And looks to that alone,
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries IT SHALL BE DONE ! "


March 7th, 1849.

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