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nerable parents describe the scenes in which they were engaged, how Nelson conquered and how Nelson fell, their breasts will burn with love of martial glory, and the recital of the wonderful works which you their fathers have done, will stimulate future heroes to defend your country.”
The following sentiments cannot be too' strongly engraved on the minds of those who follow the profession of arms, but particularly of those who are engaged in our naval service:
“ But although one object be to excite in all British seamen, an ardent desire of glory, and a love of well-earned fame, by recording the wonders which you and their predecessors have wrought, this little work is also meant to repress all vain presumptuous confidence in your own strength, and to inculcate this never to be forgotten truth-That God is the governor among the nations, and that he ruleth unto the ends of the earth. It is of the utmost importance, that amidst all your victories, you should ever recollect, that God is the Lord your strength, that it is he who teacheth hands to war, and your fingers to fight; and that he is the strength of your health, and covers your head in the day of battle. As, therefore, God alone rules in the kingdoms of men; as he is the great God of battles ; and as he, by his glorious wisdom, by his almighty power, and by his secret providence, determines the events of war, the issues of human counsels, and the returns of peace and victory, you ought to bewure that you forget not the Lord your God; but resolutely determine with the holy David, who was himself also a mighty and successful warrior, that while some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses, (that is an impious confidence in mere human skill and courage) we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Then may we humbly hope for the blessing of Providence upon our banners, thus raised in his name, and that he will cause our enemies to fall before us.
“ Be not ashamed, my countrymen, of shewing that you thus fear God; and be it ever your boast to acknowlege that the victory was not obtained by your own sword, neither was it your own arm that saved you. If there be any one man to whom religion is more necessary than another, a sailor is that man. His life is always in God's hands; always liable to be taken away from him by ways to which landsmen are not exposed; therefore, should he not forget God. True religion never appears to more advantage than in that character: the fear of God is, in his case, peculiarly attractive, and of peculiar use; because, he who fears God as he ought to do, will never fear the face of man. If Christian warriors do not feel these sentiments, and act up to them, a heathen commander shall rise up in the day of judgment, and condemn them; for he declares, "that a soldier who first serues God, and then obeys his captain, may confidently hope to overcome his enemy." Therefore, listen to the illustrious heathen, and then turn to the more sure word of Divine Revelation, and learn from thence, when your hosts go forth against the enemy, to keep yourselves from every wicked thing."
Though the extracts we have given from this Address are long, we cannot belp transcribing another passage, which, with a beautiful simplicity, feeling, and force, points out the peculiar necessity of religion in the naval character.
6. Whither indeed shall we look for true genuine piety, if not among those who go down to the sea in ships, and who oceupy their business in great waters, who see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep? Whither shall we look for a just sense of Almighty power, if not among those who are daily witnesses, that at his word alone, the stormy wind ariseth, which lifteth up the waves of the sea; and again at their humble cry, the same Almighty word, maketh the storm to cease, so that the waves thereof arc still? If those who are thus the constant objects of his power and of his goodness are not always ready to exclaim from the bottom of their hearts, and in the sincerity of their souls, Oh that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that he hath done for the children of men, where, oh where, shall we find religious gratitude upon earth i'?
Excellent and highly useful as the design of circulating authentic accounts of our great naval exploits, amongst the seamen of our fleets, must be allowed to be, we regret to learn, that the support which it has received is insufficient to carry the undertaking to its full extent. We are the more surprised at this, seeing as we do on tlie list of subscribers the names of most of our distinguished naval characters. We trust, however, that when the nature of a design so truly patriotic, shall be fully known, the means will not be wanting completely to answer the object proposed by those who have so laudably interested theselves in the promotion of it.
Letter to a Country Gentleman on the Subject of Methodism, confined chiefly to its Causes, Progress, and Consequences, in his own Neighbourhood. From the Clergyman of his Parish. Ipswich, printed, oro. pp.
THERE is a “zeal which is not according to knowlege, " and
persons of this description, instead of rendering service to the cause of truth, are but too apt to give advantage to the partizans of error by their injudicious management of controversy. We are sorry to observe, that the author of the pamphlet before us, is in this predicament. He possesses, it is true, some local knowlege of the pernicious effects of Methodism, and he has a becoming desire to check the progress of the evil in his neighbourhood. But from the present performance it is evident, he is not sufficiently acquainted with the Methodistical tenets to be a successful opponent of them. For instance, he sets out with stating, that “the doctrine of Election and Reprobation is a leading one amongst the Methodists, who peremptorily insist on it as a doctrine and belief indispensibly necessary to salvation.". This certainly is not true; for the Arminian or Wesleian Methodists, who form a very numerous body, are to a man, opposed to the doctrines of election and reprobation. Aud even the Calvinists, unless it may be a few Supralapsarian madmen, do not carry things so far as to pronounce a belief in the divine decrees to be indispensibly necessary to salvation. The author censures too generally and severely the private practice of singing divine hymns in the cottages of the poor. Properly regulated, however, this deserves commendation; and a clergyman instead of reprehending, ought to encourage a practice, which conduces much to the purposes of piety and virtue. In the following observation there is something extraordinary :
* The labourer of this class returns from his day's work as others do, nearly exhausted by it: but instead of taking the rest so much wanted in his chimney's corner, he immediately takes his wife and family from the wheel, and other useful employments in the house, to hear, or join him in this religious exer cise'; which is not unfrequently kept up at the expence of fire and candle at an unseasonable hour, I have no doubt he acts in this case from motives of real piety: I only wish him to know, Pol. X. Churchm. Mag. for May 1800.
poor man! that such piety is'not required of him: that true religion, in no case, except on its appointed day, requires more time of him than he can fairly spare from the earnings of his industry: that he cannot serve his God more acceptably, than by making the most of that time and industry in support of himself and family ; and that the SHORT PRAYER OFFERED UP ON THE PILLOW OF REST, IS EQUIVALENT ON. HIS PART, to the longer devotions of those who have more frequent opportunities and more lei, sure to perform them.”
If this means any thing, it goes to the discountenancing of family-worship among the poor; and what is still worse, if any thing can be worse, the reverend letter-writer instead of exhorting his parishioners to bend their knees in prayer before they and their households retire to rest, tells them plainly, that a short ejaculation or so, after they are in bed, will be quite enough.
We are far, very far indeed, from approving long devotions or Methodistical psalmody, but we know this, and we wish the author of this pamphlet to know, that the reason why there is so little of the life of religion among us, arises from the neglect of family-worship and instruction. It is not to be denied that this has encreased to such a degree, both in the higher and lower classes of society, as to augur the most dangerous consequences, Is it then, we will ask, to be borne, that a parochial clergy, man shall contribute his endeavours to extinguish the small spark of family religion, when he finds it in the cottage of the peasani? Is it for one of his character to say there is no occasion for religious exercises after the work of the day is over; but that men should go to sleep almost like the cattle of the field ? " A short prayer offered up on the pillow of rest!" What ideas the writer of such a sentence has of the duty of prayer, we cannot well conceive :--but we certainly are grossly mis taken, if the meanest of his flock, who is at all read in the four gospels, has not more scriptural ones.
If this is the way to oppose, check, and to root ont Methodism, we are apprehensive the consequences will be either the destruction of all religion among us, or that an overwhelming deluge of fanaticism will sweep away the goodly fabric of our church establishment.
After having expressed our warm disapprobation of what we think highly objectionable in the present Address : we cannot in justice but observe, that there are in it many striking remarks on the state of Methodism. What is
observed on the ease with which the Methodists obtain licenses to preach, is very true, and undoubtedly demands the notice of government, especially at a time when we are engaged in a contest which requires uncommon exertions that we may maintain our national existence.
" The following," says the author of the letter," is certainly a very leading cause of the increase of the sect, and under the present tolerance of our laws must remain so; I mean the very little trouble and expence at - which the teacher gets his license to preach*, and his followers a licensed house for him to preach in. I must suppose from their extreme ignorance that in the first case little or no regard is paid to mental qualifications; and in the second, the person applying has nothing to do, I believe, but to pay the fees of office. Hence it happens, that a: clergyman, and all his most respectable parishioners, unanimously wishing to prevent the establishment of the sect in their own parish at least, are completely foiled in their purpose by the fanaticism or obstinacy, or both, of an individual pauper, who never fails to indulge in the most insolent triumph on his conquest. Strange to say, this easy admission to the privilege of preaching the gospel, is actually turned against the purposes of government; for it is well known, that when it was agitated in Parliament to arm the whole body of the people, many of this religious order took out licenses to preach for no other purpose than to evade the military service they owed, and must otherwise have yielded to their country, in common with other subjects. Many, most of them indeed did not put their licenses into execution ; and to elude the palpable charge of temporizing on the occasion, gave out, that though spiritually called at the time, they did not yet feel themselves fully gifted."
Of the truth of this we can speak from our own knowlege. A master stay-maker, in considerable business, who was one of the congregation at the round house in Spa Fields, procured a recommendation from the resident preacher there, who is a beneficed clergyman. By this means he was licensed at the next meeting of the magistrates at the Sessions-house in Clerkenwell, as a Dissenting teacher, though he neither belonged to any congregation, nor is in the practice of preaching. Thus it is that the laws for the defence of our country are scandalously evaded in favour of men who are capable in person to serve, or in property to provide a substitute. 3 C2
A * Candidates for orders in our Church, undergo a previous examination, and are sometimes refused for insufficiency in theological knowlege. And some examination likewise takes place even in the ordination of our