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of his metres, and in the general structure of his verse, he is not equal to Charles Wesley, any more than in richness of evangelical sentiment, and in deep religious experience. The Doctor teaches Christians to sing, with mixed emotions of desire, hope, and doubt,
“ Could we but climb where Moses stood,
And view the landscape o'er,
Should fright us from the shore.”
Whereas Charles Wesley has attained the desired eminence, and thence triumphantly exclaims,
The promised land, from Pisgah's top,
I now exult to see!
It was no hyperbole, but a sober truth, which the pious Fletcher uttered when he said, “One of the greatest blessings that God has bestowed upon the Methodists, next to the Bible, is their Collection of Hymns.”
The special providence of God is strikingly seen in raising up John and Charles Wesley as the chief instruments of the revival of religion to which the name of Methodism has been given. They were one in mind and heart; both were highly gifted, and have been a means of conferring the most substantial benefits upon the grateful people who have entered into their labours : yet their endowments and services were vastly dissimilar; and their work would have been seriously defective had either of them been wanting. John was a means, under God, of giving the Methodists their theology and discipline; yet, with these mighty advantages, what could they do without the hymns of Charles? How could they give adequate expression to the feelings of their hearts in their various religious services, if this “sweet singer" had never lived, or had directed his genius for poetry to other objects ? An eminent man is reported to have said, “ Let who may legislate for any people ; only let me compose the ballads which they sing, and I will form their character.” is doubtful whether any human agency whatever has contributed more directly to form the character of the Methodist societies than the hymns of Charles Wesley, which they are constantly in the habit of singing, and with which their memories are therefore richly charged. The sermons of the Preachers, the instructions of the Class-Leaders, the prayers of the people, both in their families and social meetings, are all tinged with the sentiments and phraseology of his hymns. In his beautiful and expressive lines many of them are accustomed to give utterance to their desires and hopes, their sorrows and fears, their confidence and joy; and in innumerable instances they have expired with his verses upon their lips. Multitudes of them have died, whispering in faint accents, but with holy joy and hope,
They have found his hymns and spiritual songs to breathe the very language of heaven; and they have only exchanged them for the song of Moses and of the Lamb.
It is an important fact, that this gifted man, apparently without design, has anticipated all the wants of the Wesleyan Connexion, with respect to devotional poetry. He has supplied it with hymns adapted to every religious service, even Missionary Meetings, which were unknown in his time, and (strange as it may seem !) even the ordination of Ministers. He did indeed speak to the people in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, to their edification and comfort. In every place, and at all times, he “had a hymn, had a psalm,” suited to the occasion; for he was
“ Married to immortal verse, Such as the meeting soul may pierce.”
At funerals, at weddings, in the domestic circle, in the public congregation, at the table of the Lord, he was prepared to lead the devotions of those around him. When attended by immense multitudes in the open air, and under the wide
canopy of heaven, he called upon them to sing with heart and
Ye mountains and vales, in praises abound;
When assembled with his Christian friends in a tea-party, he attempted to stir up their pure minds, by calling upon them to join in this lively and joyous strain :
“ Smit with the love of sacred song,"
he thus bursts forth
Along the hill or dewy mead
Or wander through the grove ;
The object of my love.
I see his beauty in the flower ;
His love and wisdom join ;
The music is divine.
In yon unbounded plain I see
these ample skies,
A blooming paradise.
would He now himself impart,
The sense of sin forgiven!
And follow Christ to heaven!
On the return of his wife's birth-day, he invited her to join in the holy and joyous strain :
Come away to the skies,
My beloved, arise,
On the festival day
Come exulting away,
We have laid up our love
And treasure above,
The redeem'd of the Lord,
We remember his word,
With thanks we approve
The design of the love,
So united in heart,
That we never can part,
There, there at his feet
We shall suddenly meet,
We shall sing to our lyres,
With the heavenly quires,
It may truly be said of him, as of the heavenly minstrels, that his “harp” was ever tuned ; » and that whenever he
In every object of nature, in every event of life, and especially in the gracious provisions of the Gospel, he saw the hand and heart of God;
“ Then into hymns
His heart overflowed with sacred verse till it ceased to beat ; and his tuneful voice was never silent till it was silenced in death. He is gone; but the imperishable fruit of his sanctified genius remains, as one of the richest legacies ever bequeathed to the church by her faithful sons.
As to himself, he still lives in the region of holy music and holy love ; and there sings