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we should follow his faith in the several senses that have been noticed, and proceed on in the way in which he, who for so many years “ had the rule over us, and spoke to us the word of God," went before us.

15. Let us, then, my brethren, steadily abide by the doctrine he taught, and discipline he established, and continue to pursue the plan he in his wisdom saw fit to adopt, being, indeed, as we know, providentially led into it, contrary to his preconceived prejudices; a plan which God has been pleased greatly to smile upon, and to crown with wonderful success. Let us '

not attempt to mend it, for indeed we are not able; but taking it up just as it is, let us adhere to it, and go on in the same track in which we have many persevered for twenty, or thirty, or even forty years. It is now too late in the day for us to change: but if otherwise, to what can we change for the better? Let us, however, mend our pace, and quicken "our diligence, as our time grows shorter. And as the shades of the evening are coming on, let us, in imitation of our departed pastor, work the harder, “ work while it is day, because the night cometh, in which no man can work.". Though we have not received his talents, let not that discourage us. duty and our future reward are not, and will not be measured by the number or greatness of our talents, or even by our success in the use of them, but by our diligence in employing them according to the design of him who intrusted them to our management.

Every man, we are to remember, shall receive his own reward according to his own labour; and when our Lord cometh, his reward is with him, to give to every man according as his work shall be. Persuaded of this, let us not make our having received fewer talents than our late Rev. father, an excuse for hiding any them in a napkin, much less for burying them all in the earth. But if we have received but one, let us be the more diligent that our one may gain two, and our two five, and perhaps also our five ten. Thus shall we also hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord :” Thus shall we also receive a full reward in the kingdom of our Father.

Our present

of

1

END OF THE SERMOX.

The following Character of the Rev. MR. WESLEY, appeared in a certain Pe

riodical Publication, and in some of the London Papers. It fell into my hands a fero days before the Conference, and happening to have it with me, I read it to the congregation after preaching the above Sermon. It was so highly approved of by most, if not all, that heard it, that I judge I shall do an accept-, able piece of service to my readers by subjoining it here.

A CHARACTER

OF THE CELEBRATED

JOHN WESLEY, M. A.

LATE FELLOW OF LINCOLN COLLEGE, OXFORD,

WHO DIED MARCH 2, 1791, AGED EIGHTY-EIGHT YEARS.

This venerable man, in his indefatigable zeal in the discharge of his duty, has been long witnessed by the world; but as mankind are not always inclined to put a generous construction on the exertion of singular talents, his motives were imputed to the love of popularity, ambition, and lucre. It now appears that he was actuated by a disinterested regard to the immortal interest of mankind. He laboured, and studied, and preached, and wrote, to propagate what he believed to be the gospel of Christ. The intervals of these engagements were employed in governing the churches he had planted, regulating the concerns of his numerous societies, assisting the necessities, solving the difficulties, and soothing the afflictions of his hearers. He observed so rigid a temperance, and allowed himself so little repose, that he seemed to be above the infirmities of nature, and to act independently of the earthly tenement he occupied. The recital of the occurrences of every day of his life would be the greatest encomium. Had he loved wealth, he might have accumulated without

had he been fond of power, his influence would have been worth courting by any party. I do not say that he was without ambition; he had that which Christianity need not blush at, and which virtue is proud to confess. I do not mean that which is gratified with splendour and large possessions ; but that which commands the hearts and affections, the homage and gratitude of thousands. For him they felt sentiments of veneration only inferior to, those which they paid to heaven ; to him they looked as their father, their benefactor, their guide to glory and immortality; for

bounds ;

he

was

him they fell prostrate before God, with prayers and tears to spare his doom, and prolong his stay. Such a recompense as this is sufficient to repay the toils of the longest life. Short of this, greatness is contemptible impotence. Before this, lofty prelates bow, and princes hide their diminished heads.

His zeal was not a transient blaze, but a steady and constant flame. The ardour of his spirit was neither damped by difficulty, nor subdued by age. This was ascribed by himself to the power of divine grace ; by the world to enthusiasm. Be it what it will, it is what philosophers must envy, and infidels respect; it is that which gives energy to the soul, and without which there can be no greatness or heroism.

Why should we condemn that in religion which we applaud in every other profession and pursuit ? He had a vigour and elevation of mind, which nothing but the belief of the divine favour and presence could inspire. This threw a lustre round his infirmities, changed his bed of sickness into a triumphał car, and made his exit resemble an Apotheosis rather than a dissolution.

He was qualified to excel in every branch of literature ; versed in the learned tongues, in Metaphysics, in Oratory, in Logic, in Criticism, and every requisite of a Christian minister ; his style was nervous, clear, and manly ; his preaching was pathetic and persuasive ; his journals are artless and interesting ; his compositions and compilations to promote knowledge and piety are almost innumerable.

I do not say he was without faults, or above mistakes'; but they were lost in the multitude of his excellencies and virtues.

To gain the admiration of an ignorant and superstitious age, requires only a little artifice and address; to stand the test of these times, when all pretensions to sanctity are stigmatized as hypocrisy, is a proof of genuine piety and real usefulness. His great object was, to revive the obsolete doctrines and extinguished spirit of the Church of England; and they who are its friends, cannot be his enemies. Yet for this he was treated as a fanatic and impostor, and exposed to every species of slander and persecution. Even bishops and dignitaries entered the lists against him ; but he never declined the combat, and generally proved victorious. ' He appeared to the Homilies, the Articles, and the Scriptures, as vouchers for his doctrine ; and they who could not decide upon the merits of the controversy, were witnesses of the effects of his labours; and they judged of the tree by its fruit. It is true, he did not succeed much in the higher walks of life ; but that impeached his cause no

more than it did that of the first planters of the gospel. However, if he had been capable of assuming vanity upon that score, he might, have ranked among his friends some persons of the first distinction, who would have done honour to any party.

After surviving almost all his adversaries, and acquiring respect among those who were the most distant from him in principles, he lived to see the plant he had reared spreading its branches far and wide, and inviting not only these kingdoms, but the western world, to repose under its shade. Who can doubt of the continuance of a cause so deeply established; though at the same time, all must be sensible of the difficulty, if not the impossibility of finding a suitable successor ? No sect, since the first ages of Christianity, could boast a founder of such extensive talents and endowments. If he had been a candidate for literary fame, he might have succeeded to his utmost wishes ; but he sought not the praise of men, he regarded learning only as an instrument of usefulness. The great purpose of his life was doing good. For this he relinquished all honour and preferment; to this he dedicated all his powers of body and mind; at all times and in all places, in season and out of season, by gentleness, by terror, by argument, by persuasion, by reason, by interest, by every motive, and every inducement, he strove with unwearied assiduity to turn men from the error of their ways, and awaken them to virtue and religion. To the bed of sickness or the couch of prosperity, to the prison or the hospital, the house of mourning or the house of feasting, wherever there was a friend to serve, or a soul to save, he readily repaired to administer assistance or advice, reproof or consolation. He thought no office too humiliating, no condescension too low, no undertaking too arduous, to reclaim the meanest of God's offspring. The souls of all men were precious in his sight, and the value of an immortal creature beyond all estimation. He penetrated the abodes of wretchedness and ignorance to rescue the profligate from perdition ; and he communicated light to those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death. He changed the outcasts of society into useful members, civilized even savages, and filled those lips with prayer and praise, that had been accustomed only to oaths and imprecations.

But as the strongest religious impressions are apt to become languid without discipline and practice, he divided his people into classes and bands according to their attainments. He appointed frequent meetings for prayer and conversation, where they gave an account of their experience, their hopes and fears, their joys and troubles; by which means they were united to each other, and their

common profession; they became sentinels upon each other's conduct, and securities for each other's character. Thus the seeds he sowed sprang up and flourished, bearing the rich fruits of every grace and virtue ; thus he governed and preserved his numerous societies, watching their improvement with a paternal care, and encouraging them to be faithful to the end.

But I will not attempt to draw his full character, nor to estimate the extent of his labours and services: they will be best known, when he shall deliver up his commission into the hands of his Great Master,—"Lord, here am I, and the children which thou gavest me.

N. B. This most extraordinary man, in the course of the last sixty years, has been the blessed instrument in the hands of God to revive his work of True, Primitive Religion, not only in England, Scotland, and Ireland, but in that large quarter of the globe, America. In all of these places, he travelled in the greatness of his zeal, in person, by the sweat of his brow, and with his life in his hand ; like his great Master, delivering the message of the Lord to the poor, but precious and never-dying souls of men.

But glory be to Jehovah, his labours did not stop here, as tens of thousands of poor negroes, (and indeed their masters too,) in the West-Indies, both English, Dutch, and Danish Isles, can testify. In fine, we shall say of him separately, as was said of the holy apostles jointly; viz. That God's word is by him carried through all the earth ; yea, even to the world's end.-0 that my life were like his !

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