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doubt his sincerity, and in few cases could we have so little rea. son to doubt the correctness of perception in the seer. Sweden. borg must be seen by any one acquainted with his mind(to be in an extraordinary degree above the chance of self-delusion. As to the facts, the evidence which satisfied Kant might satisfy most people, one would suppose. As to the power of holding intercourse with spirits enfranchised from our present sphere, we sec no reason why it should not exist, and do see much reason wh: it should rarely be developed, but none why it should not some times. Those spirits are, we all believe, existent somewhere, somehow, and there seems to be no good reason why a person in spiritual nearness to them, whom such intercourse cannot agitate, or engross so that he cannot walk steadily in his present path, should not enjoy it, when of use to him. (But it seems to us that the stress laid upon such a fact, for or against, argues a want of faith in the immortality of souls. Why should those who be. lieve in this care so very much whether one can rise from: dead to converse with his friend! We see that Swedenborg esteemed it merely as a condition of a certain state of mind, a great privilege as enlarging his means of attaining knowledge and holiness. For ourselves, it is not as a seer of ghosts, but as a seer of truths that Swedenborg interests us.
But to return to the books. They show the gradual extension of the influence of Swedenborg, and the nature of its effects. In Mr. Parsons's case they are good. His mind seems to have been expanded and strengthened by it. Parts of his book we havo read with pleasure, and think it should be a popular one among the more thoughtful portion of the great reading public. As to Mr. Barrett's discourse, the basis of Swedenborgianism. had seemed to us broader than such a corner stone would lead us to suppose. Generally, we would say, read Swedenborg himself before you touch his interpreters. In him you will find a great life, far sight, and a celestial spirit You will be led to think,
341 swedenborgrauisin and great and tender sympathies be gratified in you. Then, if you wish to prop yourself by doctrines taken from his works, and hasten to practical conclusions, you can do so for yourself, and(from Swedenborg himself learn how to be a Swedenborgian.) but wo hope he may teach you rather to become an earnest student of truth as he was, for it is so, er.d not by crying, “ Lord. Lord," that you can know hiin or any other great and excelling inind. But, whatever the result be, read him first, and then you may prosit by comparison of your own observations with those of other scholars; but, if you begin with them, it is, even more than usual, in such cases, the blind leading the blind. Confucius had among the host one perfect disciple; others have been, in some degree, thus favoured, but Swedenborg had none such, and he is not far enough off yet for the common sense of mankind to have marked out what is of lead. ing importance in his thoughts. Therefore, search for your. selves; it is a mighty maze, but not without a plan, and the report of all guide-books," thus far, is partial.
METHODISM AT THE FOUNTAIN.
THE LIFE OF CHARLES WESLEY. Comprising a Review of bis Poctry
and Sketches of the Rise and Progress of Methodism, with Notices of Cone temporary Events and Characters. By Tuomas Jackon. New-York, 1844.
This is a reprint of a London work, although it does not so apo pear on the title-page. We have lately read it in connection with another very interesting book, Clarke's “ Memoirs of the Wesley Family," and have been led to far deeper interest in this great stream of religious thought and feeling by a nearer approach to its fountain-Liead.
The world at large takes its impression of the Wesleys from Southey. A humbler historian has scarce a chance to be heard beside one so rich in learning and talent. Yet the Methodists themselves are not satisfied with this account of their revered shepherds, which, though fair in the intention, and tolerably fair in the arrangement of fucts, fails to convey the true spiritual sense, and does not, to the flock, present a picture of the fields where they were first satisfied with the food of immortals.
A better likeness, if not so ably painted, may indeed be found in chronicles written by the disciples of these great and excellent men, who, as characters full of affection no less than intellect, need also to be affectionately, no less than intellectually, discern. ed, in order to a true representation of their deeds and their influ. ence.
The books we have named, and others which relate to the Wesloys, are extremely interesting, apart from a consideration of the
men and what their lives were leading to, from the various and important documents they furnish, illustrative of the symptoms and obscurer meanings of their times.
In the account of the family life of the rectory of Epworth, where John and Charles Wesley passed their hoyish years, we find a great deal that is valuable condensed. And we look upon the picture of home and its government with tenfold interest, be. cause the founders of the Methodist church inherited, in a straight line, the gifts of the Spirit through their parentage, rather than were taught by angels that visited them now and then unawares, or received the mantle from some prophet who was passing by, as we more commonly find to have been the case in the histories of distinguished men. This is delightful; for we long to see parent and child linked to one another by natural piety-kindred in mind no less than by blood.
The father of the Wesleys was worthy so to be in this, that he was a fervent lover of the right, though often narrow and hasty in his conceptions of it. He was scarce less, however, by nature a lover of having his own will. The same strong will was tem. pered in the larger and deeper character of his son John, to that energy and steadfastness of purpose which enabled him to carry out a plan of operations so extensive and exhausting through so long a series of years and into extreme old age.
This wilfulness, and the disposition to tyranny which attends it, the senior Mr. Wesley showed on the famous occasion when ho abandoned his wife because her conscience forbade her to assent to his prayers for the then reigning monarch, and was only saved from the consequences of his rash resolve by the accident of King William happening to die shortly after. Still more cruel, and this time fatal, was the conduct it induced in marrying one of his daughters, against her will and judgment, to a man whoin she did not love, and who proved to be entirely unworthy of her. The sacrifice of this daughter, the fairest and brightest of his family,
seems most strangely and wickedly wilful; and it is impossible to read the letter she addressed to him on the subject without great indignation against him, and sadness to see how, not long ago, the habit of authority and obedience could enable a man to dispense with the need and claim of genuine reverence.
Yet he was, in the inain, good, and his influence upon his chil dren good, as he sincerely sought, and encouraged them to seek, the one thing needful. He was a father who would never fai to give noble advice in cases of conscience; and his veneration for intellect and its culture was only inferior to that he cherished for piety.
As has been generally the case, however, with superior men, the better pari, both of inheritance and guidance, came from the mother. Mrs. Susannah Wesley was, as things go in our puny society, an extraordinary woman, though, we must believe, precisely what would be, in a healthy and natural order, the ordinary type of woman. She was endowed with a large understanding, the power of reasoning and the love of truth, animated by warm and generous affections. Her mental development began very early, so that, at the age of thirteen, she had made, and on well-considered grounds, a change in her form of theological faith. The progress so early begun, did not, on that account, stop early, but was continued, and with increasing energy, throughout her whole life. The manifold duties of a toilsome and difficult outward existence, (of which it is enough to say that she was the mother of nineteen children, many of whom lived to grow up, the wife of a poor man, and one whose temper drew round him many difficulties) only varied and furthered her improvement by the manifold occasions thus'afforded for thought and action. In her prime she was the teacher and cheerful companion of her children, in declining years at once their revered monitor and willing pupil. Indeed, she was one that Qever ceased to grow while she stayed upon this earth, nor to
foster and sustain the growth of all around her. Even the little pedantries of her educational discipline did more good than harm, as they were full of her own individuality. And it would seem to be from the bias thus given that her sons acquired the tendency which, even in early years, drew to them the name of Methodists.
How much too may not be inferred from the revival effected by · her in her husband's parish during his absence, in so beautiful
and simple a manner! How must impressions of that period have been stamped on the minds of her children, sure to rccur and aid them whenever on similar occasions the universal voice should summon them to deviate from the usual and prescribed course, and the pure sympathies awakened by their efforts bo the sole confirmation of their wisdom! How wisely and teinper. utely she defends herself to her husband, winning the assent even of that somewhat narrow and arbitrary mind! With wisdom, , even so tempered by a heart of charity and forbearance, did John and Charles Wesley maintain against the world of customs the bold and original methods which the deep emotions of their souls dictated to them, and won its assent; at least we think there is no sect on which the others collectively look with as little intoler. ance as on Methodism.
(It may be remarked par parenthese that the biographer, Mr. Jackson, who shows himself, in many ways, to be a weak man, is rather shocked at Mrs. Wesley on those occasions where she shows so much character. His opinions however, are of no con. Requence, as he fairly lays before the reader the letters and other original documents which enable him to judge of this remark. able woman, and of her children, several of them no less remark. able-As we shall not again advert to Mr. Jackson, but only consider him as a cup in which we have received the juice of the Wesleyan grape, we will mention here his strange use of the work superior in ways such as these : “This book will be