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So the New-Birth is, throughout the whole tract, the standing topic of ridicule !

“ No, not the New-Birth itself, but your enthusiastic, ridiculous account of it." What is then my account of the New-Birth? I gave it some years ago, in these words :

It is that great change which God works in the soul, when he brings it into life : when he raises it from the death of sin to the life of righteousness. It is the change wrought in the whole soul by the Almighty Spirit of God, when it is created anew in Christ Jesus, when it is renewed after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness : when the love of the world is changed into the love of God, pride into humility, passion into meekness; hatred, envy, malice, into a sincere, tender, disinterested love to all mankind. In a word, it is that change whereby the earthly, sensual, devilish mind,' is turned into the mind which was in Christ Jesus.?! Vol. II. of Sermons.

This is my account of the New-Birth. What is there ridiculous or enthusiastic in it?

“ But what do you mean by those tempests, and cries, and pains, and infernal throes attending the New-Birth?” I will tell you ag plainly as I can, in the very same words I used to Dr. Church, (after premising, that some experience much, some very little of these pains and throes.)

•When men feel in themselves the heavy burthen of sin, see damnation to be the reward of it, behold with the eye of their mind the horror of hell, they tremble, they quake, and are inwardly touched with sorrowfulness of heart, and cannot but accuse themselves, and open their grief unto Almighty God, and call to him for mercy. This being done seriously, their mind is so occupied, partly with sorrow and heaviness, partly with an earnest desire to be delivered from this danger of hell and damnation, that all desire of meat and drink is laid apart, and loathing of all worldly things and pleasures comics in place, so that nothing then liketh them more than to wecp, to lament, to mourn, and both with words and behaviour of body, so show themselves weary

of life.' “Now, permit me to ask, What, if before you had observed, that these were the very words of our own church, one of your acquaintance or parishioners had come and told you, that ever since he heard a sermon at the Foundry, he saw damnation before him, and beheld with the eye of his mind the horror of hell! What if he had trembled and quaked, and been so taken up, “partly with sorrow and heaviness, partly with an earnest desire to be delivered from the danger of hell and damnation, as to weep, to lament, to mourn, and both with words and behaviour, to show himself weary of life? Would you have scrupled to say, “Here is another deplorable instance of the Methodists driving men to distraction ?*

I have now finished, as my time permits, what I had to say, either concerning myself, or on the operations of the Holy Spirit. In doing this, I have used great plainness of speech, and yet, I hope, without rudeness. If any thing of that kind has slipped from me, I am ready to retract it. I desire, on the one hand, to accept no man's person;' and yet, on the other, to give honour to whom honour is due.'

* Second Letter to Dr. Charch.

Vol. 9.-L

If your lordship should think it worth your while to spend any more words upon me, may I presume to request one thing of your lordship, to be more serious? It cannot injure your lordship’s character, or your cause. Truth is great, and will prevail. Wishing your lordship all temporal and spiritual blessings, I am,

My Lord,
Your Lordship's dutiful Son and Servant,

JOHN WESLEY. Nov. 26, 1762.

A LETTER TO A PERSON

LATELY JOINED WITH

THE PEOPLE CALLED QUAKERS,

IN ANSWER TO A LETTER WRITTEN BY HIM.

Bristol, Feb. 10, 1747-8. YOU ask me, “ Is there any difference between Quakerism and Christianity ?" I think there is. Whạt that difference is, I will tell you as plainly as I can. I will first set down the account of Quakerism (so called) which is given by Robert Barclay: and then add, wherein it agrees with, and wherein it differs from, Christianity.

1. Seeing the height of all happiness is placed in the true knowledge of God, the right understanding of this is what is most necessary to be known in the first place.

11. " It is by the Spirit alone that the true knowledge of God hath been, is, and can be revealed. And these revelations, which are absolutely necessary for the building up of true faith, neither do nor can ever contradict right reason or the testimony of the Scriptures."

Thus far there is no difference between Quakerism and Christianity.

Yet these revelations are not to be subjected to the examination of the Scriptures as to a touchstone."

Here there is a difference. The Scriptures are the touchstone whereby Christians examine all (real or supposed) revelations. In all cases they appeal to the law and to the testimony, and try every spirit thereby.

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III. " From these revelations of the Spirit of God to the saints, have proceeded the Scriptures of truth.”

In this there is no difference between Qaakerism and Christianity.

" Yet the Scriptures are not the principal ground of all truth and knowledge, nor the adequate, primary rule of faith and manners. Nevertheless they are a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit. By him the saints are led into all truth. Therefore the Spirit is the first and principal leader.”.

If by these words, “ The Scriptures are not the principal ground of truth and knowledge, nor the a tequate, primary rule of faith and manners," be only meant, that “the Spirit is our first and principal

Here is no difference between Quakerism and Christianity. But there is great impropriety of expression. For though the Spirit is our principal leader, yet he is not our rule at all; the Scriptures are the rule whereby he leads us into all truth. Therefore, only talk good English ; call the Spirit our guide, (which signifies an intelligent being;) and the Scriptures our rule, (which signifies something used by an intelligent being,) and all is plain and clear.

IV. “ All mankind is fallen and dead, deprived of the sensation of this inward testimony of God, and subject to the power and nature of the Devil, while they abide in their natural state. And hence not only their words and deeds, but all their imaginations are evil perpetually in the sight of God."

V. “God out of his infinite love hath so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, to the end that whosoever believeth on him, might have everlasting life. And he enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, as he tasted death for every man.”

VI. “The benefit of the death of Christ is not only extended to such as have the distinct knowledge of his death and sufferings, but even unto those who are inevitably excluded from this knowledge. Even these may be partakers of the benefit of his death, though ignorant of the history, if they suffer his death to take place in their hearts, so as of wicked men to become holy."

In these points there is no difference between Quakerism and Christianity.

VII. “ As many as receive the light, in them is produced a holy and spiritual birth, bringing forth holiness, righteousness, purity, and all other blessed fruits. By which holy birth, as we are sanctified, so we are justified."

Here is a wide difference between Quakerism and Christianity, This is a flat justification by works. Whereas the Christian doctrine is, That we are justified by faith:' that unto him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted to him for righteousness.'

The ground of this mistake is, the not understanding the meaning of the word justification. For Robert Barclay takes it in the same sense as the Papists do, confounding it with sanctification. So in the 208th page of his Apology, he says, in express terms, “ Justification taken in its proper signification, is, making one just, and is all one with sanctification."

VIII. "In whom this holy birth is fully brought forth, the body of sin and death is crucified, and their hearts are subjected to the truth, so as not to obey any suggestion of the evil one, but to be free from actual simning and transgressing of the law of God, and in that respect, perfect.”

IX." They in whom his grace hath wrought in part to purify and sanctify them, may yet by disobedience fall from it, and make shipwreck of the faith." In these propositions there is no difference between Quakerism and Christianity.

The uncommon expression, " This holy birth brought forth," is taken from Jacob Behmen. And indeed so are many other expressions used by the Quakers, as are also many of their sentiments.

X. “By this light of God in the heart, every true minister is ordained, prepared, and supplied in the work of the ministry.

As to part of this proposition, there is no difference between Quakerism and Christianity. Doubtless "every true minister is by the light of God prepared and supplied in the work of the ministry.” But the Apostles themselves ordained them by laying on of hands.' So we read throughout the Acts of the Apostles.

They who have received this gift, ought not to use it as a trade, to get money thereby. Yet it may be lawful for such to receive what may be needful to them for food and clothing."

In this there is no difference between Quakerism and Christianity.

We judge it no ways unlawful, for a woman to preach in the assemblies of God's people.”

In this there is a manifest difference. For the Apostle Paul saith. expressly, Let your women keep silence in the churches : for it is not permitted unto them to speak. - And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.' 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35.

Robert Barclay indeed says, “Paul here only reproves the inconsiderate and talkative women.' But the text says no such thing. It evidently speaks of women in general. Again, the Apostle Paul saith to Timothy, “Let your women learn in silence with all subjection. For I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, (which public teaching necessarily implies,) but to be in silence.' (1 Tim. ii. 11, 12.) To this Robert Barclay makes only that harmless reply ; . We think this is not any ways repugnant to this doctrine.' Not repugnant to this, • I do not suffer a woman to teach ?! Then I know not what is.

But a woman • laboured with Paul in the work of the gospel."" Yea! but not in the way he had himself expressly forbidden.

But Joel foretold, Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. And · Philip had four daughters which prophesied. And the Apostle himself directs women to prophesy; only with their · heads covered.?" Very good. But how do you prove that prophesying in any of these places means preaching?

XI. “ All true worship to God is offered in the inward and immedíate moving of his own Spirit. . We ought not to pray or preach where and when we will, but where and when we are moved thereto, by his Spirit. All other worship, both praises, prayers, and preachings, which man sets about in his own will, and at his own appointment, which he can begin and end at pleasure, do, or leave undone, as himself sees meet, are but superstitions, will-worship, and abomi. nable idolatries."

Here lies one of the main differences between Quakerism and Christianity. It is true indeed, that “all true worship to God is offered in the inward and immediate moving of his own Spirit :” or, (to speak plainly,) that we cannot truly worship God, unless his Spirit move or incline our hearts. It is equally true, that “we ought to pray and preach, only where and when we are moved thereto by his Spirit.” But I fear you do not in any wise understand, what the being moved by his Spirit means. God moves man whom he has made a reasonable creature, according to the reason which he has given him. He moves him by his understanding, as well as his affections, by light as well as by heat. He moves him to do this or that by conviction, full as often as by desire. Accordingly, you are as really moved by the Spirit when he convinces you, you ought to feed him that is hungry, as when he gives you ever so strong an impulse, desire, or inclination so to do.

In like manner, you are as really moved by the Spirit to pray, whether it be in public or private, when you have a conviction it is the will of God you should, as when you have the strongest impulse upon your heart. And he does truly move you to preach, when in his light you see light clearly satisfying you it is his will; as much as when you feel the most vehement impulse or desire to hold forth the words of eternal life.'

Now let us consider the main proposition. “All worship which man sets about in his own will, and at his own appointment.”—Hold! That is quite another thing. It may be at his own appointment, and yet not in his own will. For instance; it is not my own will to preach at all. It is quite contrary to my will. Many a time have I cried out, Lord, send by whom thou wilt send. Only send not me! But I am moved by the Spirit of God to preach: he clearly shows me it is his will I should ; and that I should do it when and where the greatest number of poor sinners may be gathered together. Moved by him, I give up my will, and appoint a time and place, when by his power I trust to speak in his name.

How widely different, then, from true Christianity is that amazing sentence, "All praises, prayers, and preachings, which man can be gin and end at his pleasure, do, or leave undone, as himself sees meet, are superstition, will-worship, and abominable idolatry, in the sight of God!"

There is not one tittle of Scripture for this; nor yet is there any sound reason. When you take it for granted, " In all preachings which a man begins or ends at his pleasure, does, or leaves undone, as he sees meet," he is not moved by the Spirit of God, you are toohasty a great deal. It may be by the Spirit

, that he sees meet to do, or leave it undone. How will you prove that it is not? His pleasure may depend on the pleasure of God, signified to him by his Spi-

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