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they are “taking the psalm, and bringing the pleasant harp with the psaltery, and blowing up the trumpet,” and with exulting rivalry, “young men and maidens, old men and children,” are praising the Lord. In the eagerness of first love is he exclaiming, “ Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul !” But nobody will stop to listen; and so, for an audience he is driven away to the love-feast or class-meeting. In the exuberance of a newly-awakened zeal, would he like an outlet for his energies, a field of Christian activity ? In the sanctuary which he has hitherto frequented he feels himself a cipher. He has never been invited to engage in any scheme of usefulness, and, except the neat and noiseless sexton who bows him into his pew, no one seems to know him. But he has not worshipped three Sabbaths with the Methodists when he is recognised and accosted, and three months have not passed before he is installed in the Sunday-school, or with a bundle of tracts and a roving commission is sent out into the highways and hedges. The portrait of the great founder on the wall, a box for Wesleyan missions on the mantel-shelf, placards of the next anniversary in the shop window, the occasional dropping in of a brother during the day with friendly inquiry as to his health of soul, hearty hand-shakings at the evening prayer
and a vesper stanza from the consecrated ook, all betoken the activity, the brotherly
and the cheerful piety in the midst of
which the young Theophilus has found his ecclesiastical habitation and his congenial home.
The society which has yielded a logician so acute as the younger Treffry, and a systematist so masterly as Richard Watson, to say nothing of a scholar so erudite as Adam Clarke,- such a society cannot be reproached with the lack of Biblical or theological learning. Nevertheless, the lovers of metaphysical divinity and Scriptural exposition will not be apt to join a community whose migratory ministers and perpetual excitement make it a church upon wheels. Wesleyan Christianity is emotional and experimental ; it has no attraction for severe reasoners and abstract speculators; nor is it adapted to spirits sedate or sombre. Its ready-made materials are the men of feeling ; the sanguine, the impulsive, and enthusiastic natures, whom the grace of God makes the best evangelists, and the kind, humane, and homely natures whom the same grace converts into the salt of our English factories, the living epistles of such rural neighbourhoods as are blessed with their pre
And although the predominance of the emotional element in Wesleyan membership is not without its inconvenience and its perils; although it aggravates the task of the governing body, and renders periods of internal commotion vehement and almost volcanic; still, in the normal state of the society, it gives a peculiar animation to the services of its sanctuaries, and an intensity to its
missionary zeal, far beyond the proportion of most of the other Christian communities; and from what we know of his ardent temperament, we cannot wonder that the Wesleyan Society was the church which, after his conversion, Mr Williams joined.
The last chapter left him on a tour of North Wales. A short journey re-established his health, and he returned to Burslem to receive a warm welcome from former patients and friends. We shall now resume his own narrative :-
“I sought to become connected with the visible Church of Christ. Previous to my illness I had for nearly twelve months attended divine service at the Wesleyan chapel, owing to the esteem I entertained for the abilities and eloquence of the ministers then laboring in the circuit. But I never looked on myself as a Methodist, nor professed to belong to any church. In my early years I had with my parents attended the tabernacle of the Independents, and as I grew older I occasionally went to the Established Church. When a student in London, except when some popular clergyman attracted my notice, I generally absented myself entirely from public worship. In those days I should have scorned the thought as an insult to my understanding, had it been suggested that I might some day join the Methodist Society. For them, of all sects, I had the greatest distaste, and they were a by-word and a reproach in my mouth. However, from many opportunities
of judging of one individual amongst them—the same who proved such a friend during my illnessI had arrived at a much more elevated opinion of Christian integrity and worth than I had ever entertained before; and now gratitude as well as high respect bound me to the Wesleyan Church through him. Besides, their fervent zeal for the cause of God was attractive to my now roused feelings. I desired that every creature should rejoice in the glorious tidings revealed to myself, and could have wished for a trumpet tongue to echo salvation over the length and breadth of the earth.
Accordingly, on the 29th of November 1846, I presented myself at one of the class meetings, the leader of which was my already tried friend, and received a ticket on trial. The minister was present that evening, and, besides giving expression to that presence of God which he enjoyed in his own soul, he addressed interrogatories, counsel, admonition, and encouragement to each one of us. With our veteran leader I was delighted; such was the honest truthfulness of all he said, and such the evidence he afforded of living in very near communion with God in Christ Jesus. However, there were feelings in my breast which I little expected to find there. That pride which depreciates the understanding of others and exalts our own, and which so abounded in my secret thoughts and actions before my conversion, I found sensibly
existing now. I tried to conquer it, but it was not yet overthrown. It was the intrenched fortress of the enemy, from which he could issue at any unguarded moment, and lay waste my peace of mind. Many have been his triumphs. Many a time has he taken me captive at his will ; but I feel that I shall be more than conqueror through Him that loved me, and shall finally sing the glories of Him that giveth us the victory.
“As I became better acquainted with the society, I found that its doctrines and organisation wonderfully coincided with my daily increasing knowledge of the Scriptures, and with the teaching which God's Spirit imparted to me. I found it was God's will that I should be associated with one individual who served God in spirit and in truth ; but, alas ! how immeasurably distant was the period when I could hope to be thus fervent in spirit, serving the Lord ! Day by day I found fresh evidence of the depravity of my evil heart. I certainly felt an earnest desire after righteousness; but my religion, I soon perceived, was too much characterised by fits and starts, too much influenced by circumstances and occasions. It was too much a religion of emotions and feelings; and in the brief space of a single day there were intervals of negligence and apathy, when worldly avocations darkened my mind; and when the hour of prayer arrived, the burden of my sins bore heavily on my heart.
“ The most striking instance of the revealment of